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Section Title


The Devil’s Dozen


There’s Nothing to Do in Akron

THE PALETTE 11 Josh Gippin anticipates premiere of his controversial documentary “The Chosen People?” 12 On Exhibit: Artists react to The First 100 Days of the Trump Administration 14 The Black Box: None Too Fragile does George Brant’s “Salvage”

34 26



CULTURE CLUB 17 Introducing Baseball Now! with Dave Daly 12 E. Exchange Street • 2nd Floor Akron, Ohio 44308 Publisher: Chris “wishes he were barbigerous” Horne Email: Phone: 330-555-GHOSTBUSTERS Art Director: Alesa “doesn’t sleep” Upholzer, Talented and Patient Managing Editor: M. Sophie “Has Many Names, Wears Many Hats” Franchi Visuals Editor: Svetla “The Balkan Comrade” Morrison Director of Sales & Distribution: TJ "is in fact a Newsie, hat and all" Masterson Staff Writers, Columnists & The A/V Club: Emily “Lady Beer Drinker” Anderson; Brett “The Red-bearded Intern” Auerbach; Holly “The Wanderer” Brown; Kyle “Needs a Whimsical Nickname”Kleinham; Drew “is kind of a big deal in Haiti” Dawson; Sam "Buzzkilling Feminist" DePaul; Emily “Potty Perfectionist” Dressler and Marissa Marangoni, Bathroom Culture Enthusiast; Brian “Wemlo Twinge” Dunphy; Dan “The Akron Knight” Gorman; Paul “I don’t write but I can draw” Hoffman; Katie “Miss Scarlet in the Conservatory with a candlestick” Jackson; Josy “is everywhere already” Jones; Ted “Super No Bueno” Lehr; Jacob Luther, the Towny Townie Toonist; TJ “Don’t Call Me Shirley” Masterson; Brittany “Sass Master Flash” Nader; Krissy "Someone make me a real fish taco before I go insane" O'Connor; Nicole “likes the way Akron sounds” Stempak; Bradley “The Early Warning System” Thorla; Floco “no wonder he’s a lover and a writer” Torres; Steve “is not a zombie” Van Auken; Patrick “Pattycakes” Worden; and The Shane Wynn Supremacy, Ali Burden, Dave Daly, Claude Christensen, Lauren, Gray, Kaylas

18 North Hill prom + Shane Wynn = coolest prom pics ever 20 Can Low-Wage Industries Survive Without Immigrants and Refugees?

AKROPRENEURS 24 What Todd Bertsch wishes he knew before starting Evolve Creative Group

32 33 30

26 How did Aaron Hervey start making creative comfort food at Crave?

THE DISH 28 Front of the House/Back of the House at Ken Stewart’s Grille 30 The Wanderer: “Tacos are king.” 31 So you want to own a bar?

THE SCENE 32 We think you should know these six Akron bands. 33 Posture stands tall on his new EP “Haunts” 34 On Stage with Dan Socha



Meet Peter! Peter is about 1-2 years old and weighs about 30 pounds. Due to his shy and timidness he needs to be adopted into an adult only low traffic home. Once Peter warms up he enjoys playing with toys and soaking up all the pets he can get. Peter gets along with most





other dogs and would not only enjoy but would benefit living with one or two doggie friends.

———————————————————— The Devil Strip is published bi-monthly by Random Family, LLC. Akron Distribution: The Devil Strip is available free of charge, limited to one copy per reader. Copyright: The entire contents of The Devil Strip are copyright 2017 by Random Family, LLC. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission of the publisher is prohibited. Publisher does not assume any liability for unsolicited manuscripts, materials, or other content. Any submission must include a stamped, self-addressed envelope. All editorial, advertising, and business correspondence should be mailed to the address listed above.

table of contents

23 7th Floor Clothing: Akron tested, LeBron approved.


Office ......................................(330) 842-6606 General Info .......... Advertising Distribution ....... Website .................... Facebook .... Twitter ...................................@akrondevilstrip Instagram ..................................@thedevilstrip



This cute boy already knows how to sit and shake and is eager to learn more. Peter hopes you stop down and meet him today. Meet Sugar Pie! This little lady was born in October and arrived at our shelter after being found by a Good Samaritan. Sugar Pie is pretty timid when first meeting new people and places and will need a quiet, low traffic home to help her come out of her shell. Once Sugar Pie knows you, she likes gentle pets around her head and cheek area. She is often seen playing with a little stuffed mouse toy or jingly ball. Sugar Pie hopes to find a home with the patience and TLC it will take to help her become less scared. If you're interested in giving this shy beauty a forever home, please stop by our shelter and ask to meet her today! PAWSibilities Humane Society of Greater Akron 7996 Darrow Rd., Twinsburg, OH 44087 | 1.888.588.8436 | 330.487.0333 | |

JUNE 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #6 /

THE Devil Strip |


months later, the number of people laid off rose to 84. Usually, this is where someone blames the Internet or disruptive technology, etc., etc. While each undoubtedly hurt, media companies tried to protect large profit margins by turning to layoffs, buyouts and cutbacks. The rest is just math. When you get rid of a quarter or more of your editorial staff, you’re damaging the content — both quality and quantity. When you limit the content, you poison the reasons for the community to pick up the paper or tune in. When you undermine that relationship, you sever your connection to the community. Without that connection, each outlet has a harder time individually surviving as a business, which is why you get paywalls, pre-roll on

It’s hard to be a public trust when the public doesn’t trust you


y least favorite character in any novel, TV show or movie is almost always going to be the writer, whenever there is one. (When there’s no writer, my least favorite character is going to be whoever reminds me most of Walter Peck from “Ghostbusters.”) On the

However, despite the aforementioned high points, the public’s trust in media is in the toilet. For context, Mr. Trump’s approval rating, in the latest Gallup poll, is at 41 percent. Only 32 percent of folks told Gallup they have “a great deal” or “fair amount” of trust in news media. Among American institutions, newspapers and TV news rank only above Big Business and Congress for public trust, again according to Gallup. More people trust the criminal justice system and banks — BANKS! IN THE POSTRECESSION ERA! — than news media.

moment. It is the root of the decline in public trust, which has, in my lifetime, plummeted 40 points. Why would people — as they did on Twitter and Facebook — cheer a reporter getting body slammed? Why do folks think journalists are the enemy?

So… why?

They may have borrowed the gall or the language from the President’s tweets, but they believe it him because they don’t know any journalists. More specifically, they don’t know

Blame conservative talk radio, if you like — or Fox News and the late Mr. Ailes, or whomever else — but you’re ignoring a more responsible culprit if you do.

our motivations. Frankly, I’m not sure we always know either because our purpose has been reduced to “being truth-tellers” and “informing the electorate”, which are too shallow or abstract to be useful guides now.

I experience a similar level of agitation when journalists say journalism is under assault, citing

“The trouble with the newspapers of America,

Journalism can be, especially as the Knight

the “rise” of #FAKENEWS or the President’s treatment of White House reporters. To

taking one with another, is not that they are run fundamentally to make money, but that

brothers viewed it, a tool to build communities, to make places better, to help them grow. That

be clear, I don’t think reporters should be arrested for doing their jobs in West Virginia

they are run by men who already have money, sense of purpose is something we’ve lost along and want something else,” H.L. Mencken wrote with the connection we had when journalism

or body slammed by Congressional hopefuls in Montana. But I feel that way about almost everyone regardless of occupation. Journalism’s injuries are largely self-inflicted, which starts at the local level.

in “Gang of Pecksniffs”, “And the trouble with the working newspaper man is not that the business office attacks him by frontal assault and tyranny, but that he is destroyed by an infinitely subtle sapping and mining."

National outlets like the New York Times

Last month, I referenced Jack Knight, the

and Washington Post break huge stories almost daily. Smaller orgs, like the Marshall Project, the Center for Investigative Reporting and ProPublica — an example of their deep reporting is on pages 20-21 — churn out incredible work. So the art and craft of journalism is in great shape.

former publisher of the Akron Beacon Journal, in my Pub Notes because he and his brother Jim invested resources in the newspapers they owned, which is the opposite approach these days. When Canada’s Black Press bought the ABJ from McClatchy, they promptly cut 25 percent of the newsroom staff. A couple

Venn diagram of laziness and hubris, you’ll find “a writer writing a character who is also a writer.” The exception is Jessica Fletcher, who is a badass.

About the Cover This is not the cover we planned to have, even as late as the weekend before we went to print. Though it seems she could be, the young woman on the cover of this issue is not a professional model. She’s a student at North High School named Kobi Biles. And hers was the very first of the night that photographer Shane Wynn snapped at this year’s prom. Why was she at the prom? To get a bunch of photos like this, which you can see on pages 18-19.


videos and takeover ads. But collectively, that severed connection is what led us to this

| THE Devil Strip / JUNE 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #6

was practiced for mostly local audiences. We still have local news but it’s been so hamstrung by decades of cuts that our diets consist mostly of crime, car crashes and conflict. So, just as we have movements for artisan coffee, craft breweries and farm-to-table eating, I aspire to craft, locavore journalism. That’s our big picture here at The Devil Strip. Whether we ever influence broader change in the industry, we’re going to keep doing our part for Akron.


Here’s how Shane remembers it: “I asked her to stand in to just test my lights and I was so taken aback by the first frame, the grace and beauty of this young woman.” But it’s not like we have a story about prom. We just thought it would result in cool pics, which it absolutely did. However, Kobi’s photo commanded our attention. I shared it with a few dozen friends in our inner circle and the vast majority wanted to see her on the cover. So… there she is. Thank you, Kobi! Thank you, Shane! You can see more of Shane’s work at


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OUR PICKS FOR THE 12 BEST CHOICES YOU CAN MAKE THIS MONTH Friday, June 2 å “Serial Intent” Opening Party


Art Museum, 1 S High St // 7:30-9pm // This upcoming exhibition offers visitors the rare opportunity to experience multi-part artwork within the serial contexts intended by the artists who created them. The exciting major exhibition is centered around ten of the influential Andy Warhol’s Electric Chair prints, alongside prints, drawings, and photographs from the Akron Art Museum’s collection. You will have the opportunity to talk to artists and curators, enjoy the music of DJ Naeno, and even create your own print series with Rubber City Prints, Inc. “Serial Intent” will be on view through September 10.

Monday, June 5 ç Erupter Launch Party Thursday’s Lounge, 306 E Exchange St // 6-9pm // Earthquaker Devices launches a new pedal: The Erupter, a fuzz pedal made by hand in Akron (as are all Earthquaker Devices pedals). Free and open to the public, this event is great for musicians of any level. At the launch party there will be clinics/demos, Q&A, discounted B-stock pedals for sale, and more. Jamie Stillman, founder of Earthquake Devices and inventor of The Erupter will be at the event as a clinician, along with musicians Cory Juba (bass), Joe Golden (guitar), and Lisa Bella Donna (keyboard).

Saturday, June 10 é Lose Your Marbles Trolley Barn, 47 N Main St // 3-10:30pm // Neos Dance presents this dance-centric fringe festival for lovers of all things dance. Akron's historic Trolley Barn will host a temporary large stage, lighting and theatrical equipment. Smaller spaces without stages — including an ice cream parlor, gallery, and storefront window space provided in collaboration with the Curated Storefront — will feature pop-up performances to round out the festival’s walk-able footprint. The pop-up


performances will be free, while the main

receive a discount, but then you don’t get any

the audience and the performers engaged

stage performances on Saturday will have fees starting at $10.

alcohol, so that’s probably fair. Pricing varies for zoo members and ticket type; VIP tickets are also available.

and contributing to the show! Admission is free; however, there is a cover charge of $5 for anyone under 21.

í Miike Snow // The Goodyear Theater, 1201 E Market St // 7-11pm // Be the first to see this Swedish, Indie/Art trio in their first-ever Northeast Ohio concert appearance! Akron

Saturday, June 24 ï George Clinton and the Parliament

Friday, June 9 to Sunday, June 11 è Founders’ Day Weekend Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens, 714 N Portage Path // 82 years ago, a meeting between two admitted alcoholics, Bill W. and Dr. Bob, in Stan Hywet’s Gate Lodge initiated the movement that would eventually coalesce into Alcoholics Anonymous, an organization that continues today to help millions of recovering alcoholics worldwide. Founders’ Day Weekend seeks to celebrate the birth of the organization in Akron and the people who have recovered and are recovering. Free admission to the Gate Lodge will be offered to guests who wish to learn about its significance and history at the birthplace of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Saturday, June 17 ê Rocky Votolato Living Room Show Zip

will be their only area stop on this tour, at the brand new Goodyear Theater at the historic headquarters of Goodyear Tires. Doors open at 7 for the event and Klangstof will kick off the concert to warm the crowd up for Miike Snow. Hailing from Stockholm, Sweden, Miike Snow is comprised of production duo Christian Karrlson and Pontus Winnberg and singer Andrew Wyatt.,

Sunday, June 18 ì Father’s Day Car Show Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens, 714 N Portage Path // 9am-

4:30pm // Celebrate Father’s Day at one of the oldest car shows in America! The 60th Annual code 44303 (exact location disclosed after ticket Classic, Antique & Collector Car Show will purchase) // 8-10pm // Singer-songwriter feature 400 antique, vintage and collector cars Rocky Votolato will play a solo show in a manufactured from 1925-1990. Out front of small, private space. The intimate show has the Manor House, Auto Show 1957 will feature an air of secrecy about it, and you won’t even know the location until you buy a ticket. All

high-quality stock 1957 vehicles, the feature car being the Chevrolet Camaro. Presented by Stan Hywet with the Ohio Region Classic Car Club of America, enjoy these classic cars in the

tickets must be bought in advance, and a PDF will be emailed to you as your ticket with the location. This seems sure to be a unique concert idyllic setting of Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens. experience and the ultimate opportunity for fans., June 22 votolato/products/akron-oh-june-17 î Comedy Night Jilly’s Music Room, 111 N Main St // 8-10pm // Looking for a ë Brew at the Zoo: 80s Night Akron Zoo, 500 Edgewood Ave // 6:30pm While laugh? Go to Comedy Night at Jilly’s, where exploring the zoo after hours, enjoy samples some of Akron’s finest comedic talent will be of high-quality beer and wine. With your ticket you’ll receive admission, a 4 oz souvenir tasting glass, 8 sample tastings, and entrance to a giveaway. Full beers and wine will also be available for purchase. Designated drivers

Funkadelic // Lock 3, 200 S Main St // 7pm // Get your groove on with this far-out band for a fun summer night at Lock 3! George Clinton, inductee of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and pioneer of funk music, will perform with his band, the Parliament Funkadelic, and rock Lock 3 all night long! Come out and enjoy the beautiful outdoor amphitheater at Lock 3 for great music and a great time in downtown Akron.

Sunday, June 25 µ Akron Without Borders Summit Artspace, 140 East Market St, 2nd Floor // 5-8pm // Come and support the International Institute of Akron while enjoying food, drinks, live music, a silent auction, and even a henna artist. This event shows support for the immigrant and refugee communities affected by the Federal Executive Order halting immigrant entry. Lend needed support to this organization dedicated to helping immigrants and refugees.

‹ Open Streets 220 S Balch St., Akron Ohio 44302 // 12pm-5pm // Bike, walk, jog, or skate through the streets, and explore the community in a safe, fun way. Along a 4.3-mile route across Akron, streets will be closed to cars and opened to people! Experience Akron in a way usually not available, and traverse the city on foot with friends and family, noticing

performing improv and stand-up acts. Just

all the things you miss when driving. Free bike rentals will be provided, as well as food, games,

Go With It will headline the event. The group specializes in fun, high-energy shows that are completely improvised and prompted by

entertainment, a disc golf tournament, and more. So come out and play in the road!

audience suggestions and input, keeping both

JUNE 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #6 /

THE Devil Strip |



There's Nothing to Do in Akron The Devil Strip’s comprehensive, monthly argument that there’s plenty of fun to be had in Akron

Friday, June 2

“Serial Intent” Opening Party

College Night Rock Mill Climbing, Yoga & Fitness, 677 Carroll St // 4-10pm // Still feeling stressed out over final exams? Take a break and climb the stress

Akron Art Museum, 1 S High St // 7:30-9pm This upcoming exhibition offers visitors the rare opportunity to experience multi-part artwork within the serial contexts intended by the artists

away. On the first Friday of each month Rock Mill offers a college night. Admission is $10 including rentals (must have valid college ID).

who created them. See Devil’s Dozen

Contra, Actual Form, Relaxer 306 E. Exchange St. Akron OH,44304 9pm // Looking for some cool music to check

Haunted Cuyahoga: Ghost Stories of the Valley

out? This small group will be performing at

Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad/Akron Northside Station, 27 Ridge St // 7:30pm // Looking for a good scare? Climb aboard for

Thursday’s Lounge with their mix of metal blues, rock, and sledge by vocalist Larry Brent.

an evening of local ghost, crime and folklore stories. Tickets are $22 CVSR/Events/302477

Friday, June 2 - Sunday, June 4

4pm // Doberman Underground is hosting the Akron Pet Expo this year with the Shelter in attendance. Many furry faces will be there looking for a loving home. Come join the fun and maybe even find a new family member.

CEO Paul Dolan at the 15th annual Sports Dinner. Dolan will reveal the powerful story behind the Indians World Series near win and the many different causes he is involved in. Avenue Q presented by Millennial Theatre project 182 S Main St // 8-10pm // If you’re into funny musicals and want a fun night out, you won’t want to miss Avenue Q!

Summit StageFest Highland Square // 11am-6pm // This free event will showcase performances including

Friday, June 9

plays, musicals, operas, performance art, dance, Prom in The City Akron Tangiers, 532 W Market St // 7 pm - 12 am // improv comedy, miming, puppetry, staged Miss out on your last chance to go to Prom? combat and more. Don’t worry—Night Lyfe Ent presents a Second

Sunday, June 4

Chance at Prom, a dance for adults 21 and older. Nothing w/ Souvenirs* Neaux* Curtail 51 E Market St // 8pm-12am // Check out this awesome performance at Musica. Tickets are on sale for $14, $16 the day of the show.

Iisha’s Visions Art Show Mustard Seed Market and Cafe, 867 W Market St // 7pm // Free admission. Collier Canvases LLC art showcase CollierCanvases

Howie’s Summer Luau Party Howie’s on the Lake, 4856 Coleman Dr // 2-11pm // Kick off the start of summer with a summer luau party sponsored by Kona Brewery, Rialto Presents: The Odd Couple The Rialto Theatre, 1000 Kenmore Blvd // This hilarious and classic play will star Charlie Shook and Bill Vaill. Various show times to choose from so don’t miss out.

Saturday, June 3

in diverse styles. Collage and assemblage are artistic forms that incorporate the use of other materials and objects to create a new artwork. The show runs until July 1.


Erupter Launch Party Thursday’s Lounge, 306 E Exchange St //

honor the 82nd anniversary of of the founding

6-9pm // Earthquaker Devices launches a new pedal: The Erupter. See Devil’s Dozen

of Alcoholics Anonymous. Free admission. See Devil’s Dozen

Saturday, June 10 Lose Your Marbles Trolley Barn, 47 N Main St // 3-10:30pm Neos Dance presents this dance-centric fringe festival for lovers of all things dance. See Devil’s Dozen

old singer/songwriter with a alternative folk and acoustic style.

and hear astonishing tales. The proceeds from the show go towards helping save Tigers and Cheetahs from extinction.

Summit Artspace, 140 E Market St // 5 - 8 pm This juried show includes 60 works representing a wide variety of collage and assemblage work

Founders’ Day Weekend Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens, 714 N Portage Path // Come and

Laurie Ray Jilly’s Music Room // 111 N Main Street, Akron OH, 44308 // 5-6pm // Laurie Ray is a 19 year

Akron Civic Theatre - 182 S Main St // 7:30pm Experience astounding illusions, get up close with Bengal tigers, witness dangerous escapes

Friday, June 9 - Sunday, June 11

Monday, June 5

Wednesday, June 7

Jay Owenhouse - “The Authentic Illusionist” in Dare to Believe

Ohio Collage Society Members’ Show Opening

who will be serving their new beer: Hanalei.

Pretty in Punk The Empire Concert Club & Bar, 1305 E Tallmadge Ave // 8pm - 1am // Pretty in Punk returns for a night of pop and punk!

Hey Blue in Vortexosaurus The Vortex, 1167 Brittain Rd // 5:30pm-

Thursday, June 8

1:30am // Hey Blue will be debuting new songs and playing some favorites at this energetic and diverse concert. A mix of genres

Auction 22 to Benefit Akron Art Museum Akron Art Museum, 1 S High St // 5:30pm

will be played, including metal, hip hop, country, rap and EDM. Akron Pet Expo Hardesty Park, 1615 W Market St // 10am-

| THE Devil Strip / JUNE 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #6

Shaw JCC Sports Dinner Canal Park, 300 S Main St // 5:30 pm // Join Cleveland Indians owner, chairman, and

Support the museum’s mission of enriching lives through modern and contemporary art by attending their one-of-a-kind auction.

(continued on page 8)


Akron’s First Artisan Ice Cream Shop Open All Year • All Ice Cream Made on Premise

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Want to give your business a boost in 2017? Find out how to reach Akron's most loyal customers by contacting TJ at 330-329-5757 or Ads start at as little as $150 a month.

Just like this advertisement, we are right next to The Nightlight Get beans, bags and toast at 30 N. High Street





This 100% fresh, long-anticipated thriller starring Joel Edgerton opens June 6th at The Nightlight.





Just Outside Akron

Saturday, June 17

Saturday, July 1

Devilstrip (the band) is proud to be part of 97.5 WONE's Rock the Lock this summer!

products/akron-oh-june-17 See Devil’s Dozen

Miike Snow

Saturday, June 24 Sunday, June 25

tickets must be purchased in advance.

The Goodyear Theater, 1201 E Market St 7-11pm // Be the first to see this Swedish, Indie/Art trio in their first-ever Northeast Ohio concert appearance! See Devil’s Dozen

Milk+Bookies Book-Raiser Event 1001 Market Ave N, Canton // 10am-1pm Step outside of Akron for a fun summer day at the Canton Museum of Art. Participants will need a new or gently used book per child for entrance, but will receive milk & cookies in return and fun-filled book art related activities. All donated books will go to children in need.

Teddy & Keith HiHO Brewing Co., 1707 Front St, Cuyahoga Falls // 7-10 pm // Check out this live acoustic band for a chill summer night. (continued from page 6) Ride for Recovery Main Street Saloon, 1481 S Main St // 11am This ride, hosted by Say No to Dope Inc., will be in memory of Sheena Moore who lost her life in 2016 due to addiction and dedicated to all those who struggle with addiction.

Friday, June 16 The Rialto Theatre Presents: Erin Stoll & Friends The Rialto Theatre, 1000 Kenmore Blvd // 6pm

Cascade Locks Park Association, 248 Ferndale St // 5:30-8:30pm // Rubber duck racing, food, music, and fun!

Friday, June 16 - Saturday, June 17 The Akron All-City Musical presents Mary Poppins Akron Civic Theatre, 182 S Main St // One of everyone’s favorite Disney movies will be The 2nd Annual Four Leaf CLover Run St. Vincent - St. Mary High School, 15 N Maple St // 10am // Take a run or walk the four mile course to show your support for fighting cancer. After the run, participants will be able

brought to life in this live musical performance.

to attend The Four Leaf Finishers Festival, which will include a BBQ and a special concert by

Family Movie Night Lock 3, 200 S Main St // Starts at dusk

Disco Inferno.

Bring the family to Lock 3 for a movie under the stars. Movie TBD.

B.A. Productions presents Demons Within and special guests The Empire Concert Club & Bar, 1305 E Tallmadge Ave // 6pm-1am // Special guests include Bound by Fate, Army of Athens, In DamNNatioN, Obelus and When We Return

Monday, June 12- Friday, June 16 Summer Horse Camp Bath Equestrian Center, 3315 Shade Rd // 9am-4pm // Connect with horses at this hands-on summer camp. Participants will be

Sunday, June 18 (Father's Day)

on their best behavior.

Father’s Day Car Show Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens, 714 N Portage Path

Saturday, June 24

9am - 4:30pm // Celebrate Father’s Day at one of the oldest car shows in America with over 350 antique, vintage and collector cars. See Devil’s Dozen

George Clinton and

Akron Zoo 550 Edgewood Ave // 10am // Dad and

Thursday, June 22

Akron Without Borders Summit Artspace, 140 East Market St, 2nd Floor 5-8pm // This event shows support for the immigrant and refugee communities.

The Brothers Band w/ Monolithic, Vanishing Apollo, and Outdated View The Empire Concert Club & Bar, 1305 E Tallmadge Ave // 9pm // Rock out to this killer lineup. See Devil’s Dozen Open Streets

220 S Balch St., Akron Ohio 44302 // 12-5pm Bike, walk or jog through the streets and Comedy Night explore the community in a safe, fun way for a Jilly’s Music Room, 111 N Main St // 8-10pm // night. Looking for a laugh? See Devil’s Dozen See Devil’s Dozen

Friday, June 23

Monday, June 26 Rubber Ducks - CG&FS Game Canal Park, 300 S Main St // 7:05-10pm // Come out and enjoy an Akron Rubber Ducks game and also show your support to Child Guidance & Family Solutions as they partner with the team for their Charity Begins at Home program.

Brew at the Zoo - 80s Night Akron Zoo, 500 Edgewood Ave // 6:30pm Enjoy a beer or a glass of wine while exploring


Tuesday, June 27 June Neighborhood Town Hall Schumacher CLC, 1020 Hartford Ave // 6-7:15pm // Join Mayor Horrigan as he discusses his vision for Akron and responds to questions and concerns from community

the zoo after hours. See Devil’s Dozen

shows are hosted by fans in private spaces. All

summer night at Lock 3! See Devil’s Dozen

Sunday, June 25

Saturday, June 17

Rocky Votolato Living Room Show 8-10pm // Rocky Votolato solo show. These

the Parliament Funkadelic Lock 3, 200 S Main St // 7pm // Get your groove on with this far out band for a fun

Grandpa get free admission on their special day at the Akron Zoo.

Tickets Available at Duck Derby

The Cat Fancier’s Association All Breed Cat Show John S. Knight Center, 77 E Mill St // 9:30am - 5pm // Check out all the sweet cuddly kitties

Devilstrip Rocks the Lock Lock 3, 200 King James Way // 6-9pm //

members. If you are unable to attend, the (continued on page 10)






July 1-4

Sunday, July 2

Rib, White & Blue Festival 11 am - 11 pm // 200 S Main St // Come with an appetite for one of the largest rib

Portage Lakes State Park Rain date: Monday, July 3 5031 Manchester Rd // Dusk // Don’t miss

trucks, police cars, marching bands, school organizations and more.


Wednesday, June 14

festivals in Northeast Ohio. Rib vendors from all over the U.S will compete for the best tasting ribs.

the annual fireworks display over the beautiful Portage Lakes in New Franklin. Show will start at dusk.

Akron Pops Symphony concert 92 N Main St // 4pm // Don’t miss the annual Akron Pops concert to kick off your


Shakin’ it up with Kinsey Quake! Jilly’s Music Room, 111 N Main St // 7:30pm

Saturday, July 1

Tuesday, July 4

Fourth of July evening. Bring the family to this free event, followed by the firework show

Bring your friends, dry art supplies, and $10 for an evening of fun and creativity!

Hudson Fireworks Celebration 2100 Barlow Rd // Dusk // Gather up the family for the annual Hudson firework show.

2017 Fourth of July Parade Stow // 10am-12pm // Line the streets of Stow and watch the parade go by. Bring


given 1-2 professionally instructed riding lessons covering broad array of riding disciplines and activities, along with horse care information.


| THE Devil Strip / JUNE 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #6

the family and enjoy watching the Fire




June 16 5 - 11 p.m.

June 23 4 - 8 p.m.

June 30 5 - 11 p.m.

July 14 5 - 11 p.m.



artists § filmmakers > musicians Come help inspire the imagination of the city



The High Arts Festival is a 23-day celebration of local artists and multidisciplinary art forms. Visual artists, musicians and filmmakers are invited to showcase their craft, with public and juried votes determining $24,000 in cash prizes.

Enter at HIGHARTS.ORG through July 10.


Summit Artspace • The Nightlight * Jilly’s Music Room ß Uncorked Wine Bar œ Musica

agenda (continued from page 8) Town Hall will also be livestreaming from their Facebook page for others to participate and post questions online. AkronOhio

Wednesday, June 28

promoting Ohio’s professional Music Market at an energetic show for all ages. Featuring live performances by Copali, Freez-r-burn, Rusty Soul Band and Stereovox.

Friday, June 30

The Language of LeBron a Twitter collab between @mikegrau and The Devil Strip

LeBronomy ............................The economic impact King James has had since returning to NE Ohio LeBronster ..............................Playoff LeBron LeBrostrophy ..........................What happens to defenders when LeBron screens for Kyrie LeBronstocity..........................What happens to defenders when Kyrie screens for LeBron LeBrotomy ..............................A temporary neurological condition caused by proximity to LeBron’s dunks LeBronamo .............................What LeBron is yelling in his head when he dunks Kofi Boakye at Pub Bricco Pub Bricco, 1841 Merriman Rd // 7-10pm

LeBraise...................................Slowly cooking an opponent on the inside over the course of a game

Boakye will be playing music from his new EP “Made in Akron” along with jazz standards and modern day songs.

LeBron-a-lama-ding-dong .....His secret a cappella group at St. V’s

Thursday, June 29 The DiverseCity 4 - Ohio Music Party Ohio Brewing Company, 804 W Market St 7-10pm // Four diverse bands from the Ohio Music compilation - Diverse City 4 - will be

LeBlasé ....................................The boredom caused by trash talk (see: Klay Thompson or Draymond Green) LeBrexit ...................................When he took his talents to South Beach, which we’ll never, ever talk about again. Drenalin, Jessey Isley, and special guests! The Empire Concert Club & Bar, 1305 E Tallmadge Ave // 8pm-1am // Special guests: Of Heart and Mind, Blindside Avenue and Toolebox & The Crew.

LeBronze .................................His post-NBA artistic foray into sculptures and statues LeBron Jeremy ........................The name he goes by when, eh know Pictured above: LeBron James at Lock 3 in Akron (Photo courtesy of Ilenia Pezzaniti)

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| THE Devil Strip / JUNE 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #6


The Palette



osh Gippin was born and raised Jewish, but he doesn’t view himself as “chosen.” The disconnect between Gippin’s beliefs and his religious upbringing led him to make “The Chosen People? A Film about Jewish Identity.” This documentary critically addresses the idea central to the Jewish faith: that the Jews are God’s chosen people, something that Gippin has found “really problematic.” Gippin believes that all humans are equal, and we are all important. “What makes me so special in God’s eyes, just because I was born a certain way?” Gippin asks. “It shouldn’t be about that; it should be about the way we live our lives.” The documentary features interviews with some of the world’s foremost experts and scholars, as well as Akron-area clergy (both Jewish and non-Jewish) and local people who do or have practiced Judaism. The film questions the core of Jewish identity. It asks whether any single religion claim chosen-ness over all others, how the “chosen people” idea affects Jewish relations with Christians and Muslims, what the “chosen people” idea has in common with other supremacy ideologies such as white supremacy and whether scripture should be interpreted literally or metaphorically. It questions psychological implications of viewing oneself as chosen, and what it means to form a covenant with God. Many subsequent questions are prompted by questioning this long-held belief of the Jewish faith, and “The Chosen People?” addresses them with the intent to discover what it truly means to be chosen. “It’s a complicated topic, but it affects all of our lives in real ways,” Gippin says. In the film, Gippin captures a wide range of responses to the question: “What do you think about the idea that the Jews are God's Chosen People?” from people of different religious backgrounds. “You'll get very different answers depending on whether you ask a Reform, Conservative, Orthodox, or secular Jew; a different answer entirely if you ask an Evangelical Christian or a Muslim,” Gippin says. Gippin has definitely experienced pushback from family and friends who don’t agree with him. “It's an emotionally charged topic for those who believe it to be true,” he says. “Others are embarrassed by it and would rather continue to brush it under the rug.” Gippin admits that this was an extremely difficult topic to tackle. He spent the whole first year just reading. The film had to remain entirely independent in order for him to tell the story he told, and because the topic was so controversial, it was difficult to secure funding for the film. As if that weren’t enough, Gippin faced some pretty big obstacles in his personal life while making the film. “Among other things, I was diagnosed and treated for lymphoma,” Gippin says. “That set me back.” Despite the challenges, Gippin kept going, and after three and a half years, he’s ready for the June premiere. Now that this film is complete, what does Gippin have planned next? “Entirely depends on how well this film does,” he says. “If it doesn't make any money, then I'll have to find another way to support my family. If I can justify continuing to make films, then I'll keep tackling the big issues—the ones I feel keep humanity chained.”

After three and a half years in the making, “The Chosen People?” is ready for its Akron premiere by Gray Giaconia


“The Chosen People?” premieres on Sunday, June 25 at the Akron Summit County Public Library Main Auditorium from 2-5 pm. Proceeds from the screening will help pay for film festival submissions and online marketing costs to launch the film worldwide. The event is expected to sell out. Tickets can be purchased from (and will be sold at the door if they do not sell out online). The trailer can be viewed at the film’s website,

JUNE 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #6 /

THE Devil Strip |


the palette



The First 100 Days: Artists Respond


alking into Nine Muses on a rainy

what these two icons once stood for within our

of photography, mixed media, painting and

Saturday afternoon, the gallery was sparsely occupied, with the exception of a couple enjoying their coffee and quiet conversation. However what adorned the walls spoke volumes.

democracy. Not to mention the sheer size of the sculpture. Some with humor, others with irony, paintings only helps to emphasize the impact of but mostly sincerity. Diamond’s message. Leaving the gallery, Becky Woodruff’s piece “Fight Like A Girl” by Miriam Daniel was exactly “Keeping An Eye On Our Future” caught my

The Expressive Journey Exhibit, coordinated by members of H.O.P.E. (Hope, Opportunity, Peace, Equality), in cooperation with Summit Artspace, invited local artists from “both sides

the juxtaposition I needed to shake off the somber feeling I had while walking the gallery. The bright pink colors brought back positive memories of participating in the Women’s March in Cleveland following the inauguration.

eye with it’s, well, eye. It left me feeling cold, watched and uncertain. A bit like the elected administration.

of the aisle” to participate in this exhibit by submitting artwork reflecting their viewpoint of

The simple message of “Resist” was enough to remind me of the feeling of solidarity.

on display at Nine Muses Gallery in Barberton through June 10th.

Expressive Journey Exhibit

Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office. The goal of the exhibit is to provide an opportunity for With a clever title like “A Hard Reign - A Gonna quiet reflection and to support gallery guests in Fall” by Tom Baldwin is reminiscent of an Op-Ed

which first spoke to me were a pair of paintings by Jack Diamond appropriately titled “Lost” and “Broken”. The muted colors used to depict

intended opinion.

Barberton, Ohio

familiar images of the Statue of Liberty and Lady Justice captures the eerie fading feeling of

exhibit capture the feelings of distrust, fear, resistance, and bigotry through the mediums

evaluating their own opinions. As I walked through the gallery, the pieces

Expressive Journey Exhibit: The First 100 Days is

Pictured above (clockwise from top left): “Keeping An Eye On Our Future” by Becky

cartoon, with Donald Trump representing a Woodruff; “A Hard Reign - A Gonna Fall” by dark cloud over the White House. Clear and Tom Baldwin; “Lost” by Jack Diamond; “Fight simple, Baldwin’s art is as black-and-white as his Like A Girl” by Miriam Daniel; “Broken” by Jack Diamond. (All photos courtesy of Katie Jackson/ The Devil Strip)

Roughly a dozen artists participating in the

by Katie Jackson


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Make reading and exercise a part of your day — every day. Both have the power to brighten your spirit, stimulate your imagination and improve your health. Mind, Body & Sole: Build A Better World is a reading/wellness experience for the whole family to enjoy. Take the first step to a happier, more productive life. Register now at your nearest Akron-Summit County Public Library. Find out more about Mind, Body & Sole: Build A Better World at or contract your loval branch library.





the palette



Chris Alonso is a writer and lover of the fabulist and magical realist genres. And, no, he says, they are not the same thing.

between two lovers that becomes fantastically metaphysical when one of them turns out to be the sea.

Alonso is from Miami, Florida, born to a family of exiles who fled Castro’s Cuba in the 1960s. His first foray into writing came in high school

Becoming a strong writer is not easy. If you are going to be a writer, Alonso says you must “write as often as you can and read as often as

when an inspiring English teacher assigned him creative writing exercises. After he acquired an English literature degree at Florida International University, Alonso began his graduate studies in

you can. Read everything. Read widely.”

the NEOMFA program.

vulnerable emotion and lyricism” such as Aimee Bender, and Ramona Ausubel. Alonso also

So what is the difference between the fabulist

enjoys the work of Latin and unapologetically

and magical realist genres? Alonso says that while both genres use fantastical elements, he considers magical realism to be unique to Latin American authors, “created as a way to criticize

queer authors Jennine Capó Crucet, Alexander Chee, Jeanette Winterson, and Ocean Vuong.

and subvert the violent governments of the mid-20th century.” Fabulism does not have that connotation, Alonso says, and follows the style

creative home-away-from-home. He loves his cohort. Most importantly, he says the program pushes him to better connect with himself and

of “more conventional fables.”

with being a human.

Averse to “more ‘literary’ work,” Alonso

That is essential. The core of a strong writer,

wanted to be able to pursue his own odd style

Alonso states, should be a self-aware human

of writing, which is often quite fantastical, when he considered graduate creative writing programs. In the NEOMFA program he found

being. Only then can a writer be conscious of all that they can do.

a cadre of students and faculty who also write speculative, fantastical fiction. This encourages Alonso to pursue his own fabulist tendencies, resulting in stories like “The Shallows.” Published in the “Chicago Literati” magazine, “The Shallows” is an intimate dialogue

// After camping with his brother near Magee Marsh


Student Spotlight Chris Alonso The Fabulist Magical Realist by Claude Christensen







during “The Biggest Week In American Birding,” Claude Christensen was happy to sleep in a real bed. He dreamt of indigo buntings. (Photo courtesy of Chris Alonso)

by Josy Jones

They never lived happily ever after. Picture: (L to R) Derdriu Ring as Amanda Graham and Kelly Strand as Kelly Aspern;

There’s no such thing; in fact, life isn’t that easy. It’s messy. It is filled with unresolved relationships, none of which end in “happily ever after.” George Brant’s "Salvage" addresses this reality

(Photos courtesy of none too fragile.) struck me the most: the haunting, waiting laptop described by Roberta Aspern as she tries to convince Amanda that without Roberta’s help, her career as a writer will be reduced to writer’s block

is the story of Danny Aspern, a recently deceased man, and the three women who are burdened in some way to preserve his memory.


In the NEOMFA program, Alonso has found his

The They DID NOT Live Happily Ever After: Black A Review of none too fragile’s Production of "Salvage" by George Brant Box

by discussing storytelling as a recurring theme alongside preservation. "Salvage"

FRI JUNE 16, 7:30PM SAT JUNE 17, 2:30PM SAT JUNE 17, 7:30PM

He himself is an avid reader of authors who can combine the fantastic “with a sense of

and the unused laptop that will haunt her forever. It was a frightening, powerful

After Danny Aspern’s funeral, his sister Kelly

women characters? Now, how many of those plays are all women casts? Not many. It was

and his mother Roberta take on the task of sorting his things and deciding which are important to keep. Unfortunately, Danny is revealed to be quite a hoarder. Shortly

refreshing to see. To top it off, everything in the play happens in one setting, which can be difficult to pull off. In single-setting, fulllength plays, the production’s ability to hold

after, Amanda Graham, Danny’s high school sweetheart and a famous author, shows up

the audience’s attention depends solely on the actors and their storytelling abilities.

to help sort through Danny’s belongings, but her idea of preserving Danny’s memory—and her own—causes major conflicts and chaos to

The cast of "Salvage" did a great job of using dialogue to take us out of the basement of

ensue. "Salvage" is a fascinating piece for several reasons. Firstly, the cast is three women. That’s it. How many plays have strong, complex

the Aspern house. Through them, I met Danny without him ever manifesting on stage, and the script has such strong imagery that you can see

image that Roberta, played by DeDe Klein, made all too real. The exploration of death and the inability to ignore the good and bad memories that make up a person’s legacy, the different manifestations of grief, the theme of preserving a person’s memory after death, and the continuous discussion of romanticizing neat, fairytale narratives makes "Salvage" one hell of a commentary on the human condition. Brant even goes further to reject the “happily ever after” myth by leaving his own audience with a

muddled, unresolved ending. I respect none too all the places, people and memories the women fragile’s fearlessness in picking such a play (continued on page 37) describe. In fact, there was one image that






JUNE 22 – AUGUST 10 | 6:30 – 8:30 pm

June 22 - Anne E. DeChant - American, Pop, Country June 29 - Roxxymoron - Pop, Jazz July 6 - 15 60 75 The Numbers Band - Original Blues, Jazz, Rock July 13 - Umojah Nation - Reggae July 20 - Shooter Sharp & The Shootouts - Rockabilly July 27 - Shivering Timbers - Indie Rock August 3 - Half Cleveland - Geezer Hipster Rock August 10 - Blu Monsoon - Jazz The sounds of summer—festive fireworks exploding in the sky, the sound of the ice cream truck circulating the neighborhood and the infectious rhythm of your favorite local band emanating from the Akron Art Museum’s Bud and Susie Rogers Garden. This year, the Akron Art Museum and The City of Akron usher in the popular concert series Downtown@Dusk presented by KeyBank for its 33rd season, offering a showcase of some of the area’s best local acts.


19 8 1

19 9 5









Downtown@Dusk is presented by KeyBank, with additional support by Audio-Technica, EarthQuaker Devices, ACME Fresh Market Catering and Event Planning, Ron and Ann Allan /the Allan Family Fund of the Akron Community Foundation, the City of Akron and Clear Gold Audio. Media sponsorship is provided by WKSU 89.7.

FREE THURSDAYS ALL DAY • 11 am – 9 pm Spend Thursdays at the Akron Art Museum—it’s FREE all day and all evening. Check our website——for the most up-to-date information on what is happening on any given Thursday and the rest of the week. Free Thursdays are generously supported by the J.M. Smucker Company.















Baseball Now! by Dave Daly


aseball is best enjoyed with friends but there is no shame in

Your time in downtown Akron doesn’t have to start and end with the game. Get a drink at Baxter’s Bar beforehand. After,

going to a baseball game alone.

I do it fairly often, sometimes catching a few innings of a game or an entire homestand all by my lonesome. That said, baseball loves company. Sometimes

have a taco or two at El Gato to soak up some of the $1 beers you indulged in. Make it a date and take that special someone to Cilantro and enjoy some Mock Duck on the patio while peeking into the park to catch some of the game.

people complain the sport is too slow. That’s the best part! Spend this time not paying attention to the non-action going on and have a conversation sitting outside on a beautiful summer evening.

Most importantly, The RubberDucks! Minor league baseball is legit. These guys are big league prospects and play a full season from April to September. They

Don’t forget to people watch. Canal Park is a goldmine for people watching. Do you like sitting? Great. When you go to a baseball game one of the things you get to do most is sit. Or stand. You can walk around Canal Park too. You got options. And you won’t miss a play. Baseball allows for a lack of attention.

You probably eat and drink for pleasure and survival. You can do both at a RubberDucks game — and more! Seriously, there are many

lemonade, deep-fried delights and dollar beers on Thursday nights. There is even a restaurant with a full bar and menu attached to the park called ‘The Game’ that opens an hour before start time. Slam some well shots and waffle fries before you head into the park for some baseball shenanigans.

opportunities to overindulge. Gluttonous sandwiches, burgers and dogs. Fresh squeezed

Canal Park is incredibly accessible. The fact that

Just listen to the crowd as you meander and you’ll know when to look.


it is in downtown Akron totally rocks. There are nearby bus stops and plenty of parking. You can also walk or ride your bicycle to a baseball game in Akron, no prob. Take the towpath, as it just so happens to be next to the park. Take the roads, they’re kind of bike friendly and they’ve definitely got sidewalks. Make drivers jealous as you pull up to the bike parking right outside the park entrance.

can ball. You’ll also have the chance to see Cleveland Indians team members rehabbing injuries in Akron. As I write this article the reigning Eastern League champs have a 20-21 record, just one win shy of .500. Perhaps a few more fans at the next home game will propel them to victory. Check their schedule online at With tickets as cheap as $5, it’s a no brainer — GO TO A GAME!

JUNE 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #6 /

THE Devil Strip |


North Hill


culture Club


A night of fancy dresses and tuxes in Akron’s melting pot Photos by Shane Wynn There aren’t enough pages in the magazine to handle publishing all the interesting ideas for photo essays that Shane Wynn brings to our doorstep. This is one of those ideas, which was born from a conversation with Rachel Tecca, the principal at North High School, who suggested Shane shoot their prom. “I had taken notice of the amazing street styles of the diverse community I see walking on Tallmadge Ave., their clothing often an assimilation of modern American brands and some ethnic elements,” Shane says. “I wanted to visually convey the sense of confidence this style communicates and the sense of personal identity that these young people are creating, finding their own self expression amidst influences from both their cultural heritage and American modern lives.” But Shane found more than she expected, which you can see here. While we only have two pages to spare, the rest of the photos — as well as more of Shane’s thoughts on the experience — will be posted on our website later this month at



| THE Devil Strip / JUNE 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #6


culture club


JUNE 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #6 /

THE Devil Strip |


Pictured left: An employee talking with customers at Dhimal's Mini Marts grocery store in North Hill, which is an Akron neighborhood being reborn by the influx immigrants and refugees from Nepal and the Bhutan. (Photo by Shane Wynn/


ne afternoon this fall, I knocked on the door

of a redbrick apartment building in Akron, Ohio, looking for a Bhutanese refugee who’d

Just as technology firms and hospitals have come to rely on high-skilled immigrants secured

lost the tips of his fingers at a Case Farms chicken plant in a vacuum-pressure machine known as a “fat sucker.”

through visa programs, low-wage industries depend heavily on migrants from the world’s hotspots, secured through refugee programs as well as other means. That reliance has

In the apartment’s tiny living

prompted some of the nation’s meatpackers to fear that under Trump the global marketplace

room, a young man told his story

may shut down, resulting in labor shortages

in halting English. As he spoke, I realized that his name was different from the one I had, and, instead of losing his fingertips

that, they say, will drive up prices and reduce food supplies. “A legal immigration system that works is the best way to address illegal immigration,” Cargill chief executive David

in a fat sucker at the company’s Canton plant, he’d lost his pinkie to a saw at its plant in nearby

MacLennan wrote recently. “We must not close our minds or our borders.”

Winesburg. I had the wrong guy, but I’d stumbled on yet another Bhutanese refugee who’d sacrificed part of his body for the

Poultry and meatpacking companies have long drawn labor from the bottom rung of society. Jurgis Rudkus, the hero of Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle” was a new Lithuanian immigrant. As


processing plants moved out of union-heavy

The Bhutanese ended up at Case Farms in 2011 by way of a refugee resettlement agency. It was a marriage of the desperate. The refugees needed work that didn’t require speaking English or an American education. Case Farms needed workers who would accept the low pay and grueling, cold and monotonous conditions that U.S. safety inspectors have repeatedly deemed extremely dangerous. The Bhutanese were only the latest crop of foreign labor to

Can Low-Wage Industries Survive Without Immigrants and Refugees? Case Farms’ history shows how many sectors like meatpacking depend on immigrants and refugees. Now business leaders fear President Trump’s policies will create a labor shortage. by Michael Grabell, ProPublica Originally published at


| THE Devil Strip / JUNE 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #6

office buildings and unload shipping containers for retail stores.

stand on Case Farms’ chicken

cities closer to farms, they relied on poor, rural whites and, after the country desegregated, African Americans. By 2006, 46 percent of meat and poultry processing workers were Hispanic. In recent years, slaughterhouses have turned to refugees, from Bosnians in Iowa to Somalis in Kansas. Tyson Foods is based in Springdale, Arkansas, which has become home to thousands from the Marshall Islands who hold special status because of nuclear weapons testing during the Cold War. Case Farms managers told ProPublica they are careful to follow immigration law and say they treat workers properly, wherever they are from. When Case Farms started in Winesburg in 1986, it mostly employed young Amish women,

lines, slicing breasts and wings for fast-food restaurants and grocery stores across the country. For decades, the company had largely relied on Mayan immigrants fleeing violence in

but they left as the company expanded and hired workers from Rust Belt cities nearby. Its second plant in Morganton, North Carolina, also had trouble staffing its lines. At the time,

Guatemala, many of whom were not allowed

manufacturing was thriving in the Southeast

to work in the United States. Case Farms’ history with the Mayans reveals how U.S. companies subvert immigration laws to take advantage of undocumented immigrants, but

and the white and African-American workers the company had employed — even the Hmong refugees who settled there after the Vietnam War — left for better-paying jobs at local

it also illustrates a broader — and perhaps underappreciated — truth about the American economy: So much of it depends on a never-

furniture factories.

ending global scramble for low-skilled labor. President Donald Trump rode into office vowing to restrict the flow of refugees and

search for Latino workers, recruiting along the Texas border and in farm labor towns in Florida. The number of Latinos working in the poultry and meatpacking industry grew exponentially

unauthorized immigrants. The rhetoric played well among Rust Belt voters who had seen their industries decline just as Latino immigrants

in the 1990s. The North American Free Trade Agreement played a role by eliminating steep agricultural tariffs, which caused chicken

began arriving to take jobs they didn’t want, seemingly transforming the towns they used to know. But Trump’s efforts to make good on

exports to Mexico to more than sextuple and, according to some critics, devastated Mexican farmers, leading many to seek work across the

So Case Farms joined others in the industry in a

those promises could substantially disrupt the border. companies that provide America’s food, build its homes, and supply workers to clean hotels and Case Farms eventually found the Mayans, who


culture club began settling in Morganton in the early 1990s, and a few years later started arriving around Winesburg. Case Farms recruited many of them

The Bhutanese are one of a series of migrant and refugee communities the company has turned to for labor.

The Bhutanese began arriving in Akron in 2008, settling in a neighborhood that had been home to Italian and Polish immigrants before them.

directly from Florida, but a Guatemalan pastor I met in Ohio said the company gave him a 15-passenger van to transport immigrants from

In one instance, some employees told the National Labor Relations Board that the human

They had been living in U.N. camps in Nepal since the early 1990s, when the small kingdom of Bhutan in the Himalayas began expelling tens

its plant in Morganton to work at its plant in Ohio. The recruitment and migrant stream

resources manager promised Case Farms would give everyone a raise if they could help him

of thousands of ethnic Nepalis, viewing them as a threat.

that followed turned Rust Belt cities in the Appalachian foothills into immigrant gateways

get the newcomers to sign papers decertifying the union, which was led by Guatemalans. The

Manorath Khanal works at Case Farms in

that now claim some of the largest populations of Awakateko and Ixil speakers in the United States.

Burmese initially refused through a translator, one employee said. So the employee and a colleague waited until the translator left and

human resources and has recruited scores of Bhutanese to work there. I met him at his apartment in Cuyahoga Falls. It was the

As the Mayan workers gained strength, eventually unionizing and going on strike, the company recruited a series of immigrant groups

explained the deal to a new worker who spoke a little English. “She asked me, ‘Oh, more money?’ ” the woman told the NLRB. “And I said, ‘Yes, more money.’ Afterward, she said

end of the Hindu holiday Diwali and he wore garlands of orange and purple flowers. Khanal, 42, recalled that when he was a teenager in Bhutan, soldiers entered his village and began

— Cubans, Romanians, Chinese, North Africans and Burmese — seemingly pitting immigrant communities against each other.

something in her language to the rest and everyone signed the little pieces of paper to get rid of the union.”

arresting people, who were never seen again. One night at midnight, his family fled, crossing the swollen rivers near the border in India, and

Manorath Khanal, a Bhutanese refugee who works for Case Farms as a liaison to employees.

The Burmese didn’t last long, and for a while, it seemed the Bhutanese might not either.

got into the back of a big truck that took them to Nepal. (continued on page 36)

One of the most dangerous companies in the U.S. took advantage of immigrant workers. Then, when they got hurt or fought back, it used America’s laws against them. “Though Case Farms isn’t a household name, you’ve probably eaten its chicken. Each year, it produces nearly a billion pounds for customers such as Kentucky Fried Chicken, Popeyes, and Taco Bell. Boar’s Head sells its chicken as deli meat in supermarkets. Since 2011, the U.S. government has purchased nearly $17 million worth of Case Farms chicken, mostly for the federal school lunch program.” READ MORE:

United Way’s Bold Goals are a new, more targeted approach to solving the problems facing Greater Akron and will guide United Way’s mission across Summit County in the coming years. GoAl 1: GoAl 2: GoAl 3: GoAl 4:

65% of APS third-graders reading at or above grade level (Currently at 38%) 90% of APS high-schoolers graduating in 4 years, with 60% college/ career ready (Currently at 75% and 21% respectively) Financially empower* 11,000 people (Currently 42,000 people in Akron are considered to be “working poor”)

*With the skills, knowledge and resources to budget and save, manage debt, build credit and access banking services

Reduce ER Visits due to drug overdoses to 1000 (Currently at 2,400 annually)

Ultimately, United Way of Summit County envisions a future where EVERYONE has the tools to be financially empowered, where every student has the skills to succeed in the classroom and beyond and where no family is devastated by addiction. As we work toward the future, these Bold Goals for 2025 will serve as concrete benchmarks for our success and hold us accountable to our community.


Get involved At UWSUmmit.orG


volUnteer. AdvoCAte. Give.

JUNE 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #6 /

THE Devil Strip |


In tune with the needs of our community. AKRONCHILDRENS.ORG

ach13710-01_In Tune_Devil Strip_v01AR_20170522.indd 1

5/22/17 4:48 PM

7 4:48 PM




Akron tested, LeBron approved. How two young men from Akron created the most notorious hat on Instagram by Ali Burden after the historic win, Frank and Preston couldn’t keep their shirts on the shelves. Frank and Preston, both alumni of Firestone High School and lifelong locals, literally wear their hometown pride like a badge of honor—


here were you when they finally

did it? When our Cavs broke the fifty year “Cleveland Curse?” Frank Miller and Preston Clark found themselves watching from St. V with more optimism than could be previously found in the whole state— they’d taken the gamble, and came with premade championship shirts at the ready. And while Ohio was losing its collective mind


and while most businesses know humble beginnings, especially here in Akron, Frank and Preston took striving for greatness to a whole new level when creating 7th Floor Clothing. With creative flair and unshakable focus, they’ve captured the essence of our town in a number of designs we’re dying to wear. But the show-stopping moment came in August of last year, when the one and only LeBron James himself posted two back-to-back Instagram photos sporting one of Frank and Preston’s signature hats.

Affectionately nicknamed “King Kermit,” the “Kiss the Trophy” hat features the popular Kermit the Frog tea-drinking online meme with a little twist—he wears a crown, Cavs jersey, and in his hand sits the coveted NBA Championship trophy. Frank and Preston found out about LeBron’s legendary Instagram posts through a friend while they were having lunch—and understandably, it was kind of a big deal to friends, family, news outlets and more.

Frank and Preston, like handing off the Olympic torch, had passed their hat off, and after what we like to imagine as a wild ride, King Kermit appeared on ‘Bron’s brow soon after. Just like that, two young men with a screenprinting company and a dream had just become part of Ohio’s proudest moment in half a century. (continued on page 36)

Artist as an Entrepreneur (AEI) AEI and the importance of the fundamentals of being a creative by Floco Torres


here was a time when being an artist

leaving with a toolkit of skills and a cohort of

Artspace where visitors can see him create and

you don’t know how to start, you should give

basically meant you were poor and

collaborators to kickstart their projects. They’ll

chat with him about his work.

the AEI course some serious consideration. You

afraid of getting a “real job.” Over time, we’ve learned that this isn’t widely true (I don’t want a “real job”) and that in the world of entrepreneurship, being an artist or a creative

be learning from instructors like Chris Horne (Our fearless leader here

and being an entrepreneur aren’t as different as they may look on paper. The challenge

at TDS), Christy Bolingbroke of the

with each, like any glorified profession (athlete, rockstar, trust fund kid, etc.), is that the fundamentals of sustainability are rarely discussed in detail. How does an artist go

National Center for Choreography, Shane Wynn of Shane Wynn Photography,

from freelance to profitability? How does an entrepreneur go from juggling two or three

Keeven White of WhiteSpace Creative, Dreama Whitfield and

hobbies to turning them into one stable idea? For the fourth straight year, Summit Artspace will tackle these questions and more with a star studded faculty through the Artist as an

Traci Buckner, Knight Arts Challenge-winning founders of DTVision and more. AEI must be doing something right because

the specific questions I mentioned earlier, this class highlights four areas requested by alumni complete with a keynote speech by John Michael Schert, co-founder of the Trey

Entrepreneur Institute (AEI).

they have alumni who have returned after their first year and this year the Institute will include a

McIntyre Project in Boise, ID, artist and social entrepreneur at the University of Chicago Booth

Summit Artspace will go in-depth with artists through foundational courses in business, finance, marketing and communications. Think

special track for alumni that features a nationally- School of Business. His expertise on how the known artist-entrepreneur. Kelvin Arthur, an creative process can be relevant and valuable to illustrator and alumni of the course said the diverse fields from business to civic engagement

of these courses as direct intel from creative soldiers that have gone to war and lived to talk about it. Participants experience a thorough

program “propelled my ideas and work as an artist into an actual business.” The information he learned and the energy he experienced lit a

will lead you right into the microbrew meetand-greet that follows his speech.

24 hours of AEI instruction with locally- and nationally-recognized artists and entrepreneurs,

fire under him to focus on the business aspect of his career. Kelvin now has a studio at Summit

If you’ve felt a standstill with a project you’re currently working on or you have an idea that


Pictured: Photo from 2015 Artist as Entrepreneur Institute, courtesy of Summit Artspace. Also this year, Summit Artspace will offer a master class called “A Closer Look.” Like

could be one or two answers away from finding your path and sprinting down it. The Full Course will be July 17-20 and 24-27 from 6-9 p.m. A Closer Look will be June 19-20 and 26-27 from 5-9 p.m. All classes will be held at Summit Artspace on East Market, 140 E Market St, Akron. Spaces are limited for The Full Course and A Closer Look so I suggest you be swift. Registration fees are $100 for the full two weeks of The Full Course before June 16, and then $125 after. A Closer Look fees are $25 per day, or $100 for the entire program for non-alumni and $50 for alumni.

Please visit if you’re interested in learning more about the program and registering.

JUNE 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #6 /

THE Devil Strip |




Occupations: Owner/President of Evolve Creative Group Hometown: East Akron/Goodyear Heights Current Neighborhood: Copley Township

Lessons that Todd Bertsch learned the hard way Starting a business can be hard work, but fortunately for us, Akro-preneurs are always willing to share their insights. How did you get into the work you do? From the time I was a young boy, I’ve been fascinated by art and advertising. Coming from

guidance. After being in business a few years, I started to build my network of business owners and was able to learn from their experiences.

What are some of the best lessons--in business or life--you've learned from being your own boss? With over 20 years in this

a smaller high school (Archbishop Hoban High) I was one of a few students who excelled in art. So off to The University of Akron I went to pursue a fine arts degree. After taking a few

Every business is different and you will fail in some respects, but as Warren Buffet once said, it’s always better to learn from other’s mistakes than to make your own. Lastly, I would say

business and owning a business for eight years now, there is certainly a lot I’ve learned. Below is a list of my top ten. 1. Work/life balance. This is the single most

drawing courses I quickly realized I was not as talented as I had thought. So I looked into the graphic design department, which I knew

that I wish I would have known how important patience was in building a business. Those who know me well know that I’ve never been a man

important key to success and happiness. It’s different for everyone, but don’t get caught up in your work. Life goes by fast. Create

nothing about at the time, and instantly fell

of great patience. I quickly learned that nothing

those moments with family and friends that

in love and found my lifelong passion. During my senior year, this new exciting thing called the “Internet” emerged. I jumped on board,

worthwhile happens overnight. Building a strong brand and reputation takes time and patience.

will last forever. Keeping the balance is not easy and will be a constant battle, but it will keep you grounded and poised for success.

designed and built my first website and stayed the course. After several years of working for advertising agencies and internet start-ups, I took a leap-of-faith in 2009 and started my own digital agency Evolve Creative Group. As I look back to my days as a young newspaper delivery boy, I suppose I’ve always had that entrepreneurial spirit burning inside me.

What are you glad you didn't know? I knew starting a business would not be easy and would be a lot of hard work, but I’m glad I didn’t know how many hats I would need to wear each day. Getting started it’s just you, and you alone, so everything falls on you. And as you start to build a client base and hire employees the more responsibility you take on and the more hats you wear. I’m not sure if this would have discouraged me from starting a business, but it certainly is a constant challenge. Delegation is tough, but it’s a key to success and your sanity.

2. You’re only as good as the people around you. Great employees are hard to find. When you do find them, hold on tight and keep them as long as you can. 3. Success comes in many different forms. It should never be about the money. 4. Have patience—it will be your best friend. 5. Legacy. What will you leave behind? Is your work meaningful? How does it impact your community? We all have time and talent and should give back to our community. 6. My spoon was not silver. It’s not about (continued on page 37)

What do you wish you knew when you got started? Looking back, I wish I would have known more small business owners and tapped into their experience and sought out their

In the lab with Andrea PierceNaymon

How a mom’s love led to this Akron-based, zero-chemical skincare line

// photos by Ilenia Pezzaniti


| THE Devil Strip / JUNE 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #6

Podcast Pullquote:

AkroPreneurs: Episode 5 Michael Considine Norka Beverage

Akro- preneurs is a series hosted by Roger Riddle that features the stories behind creative locals whose talents led them into business where they’ve been shaping the city and our culture with their entrepreneurial mindset. Listen to Episode 4 of Akropreneurs to hear Michael Considine’s story of reviving the NORKA Soda brand. “I say 'soda-pop.' Growing up we said 'pop.' When I do say 'Norka Soda' we’ll get a little bit of a backlash from Akronites because they know here in Akron we call it 'pop'." “There was a point where I looked at Chicago, I looked at New York City. I actually had job offers in both cities. But something always just pulled me back home. I guess I’ve just always loved Northeast Ohio. I wanted to build a business here and stay a part of it.” “Hey - this is an opportunity to bring back an iconic Akron brand. I gotta do it.” “I love a comeback story and that’s what this is.” “For me I wanted to stay very true, especially on the packaging, to the old artwork. I love the old artwork, I think that’s nostalgic. We want to keep that. We don’t want to see that change.”

Some of the best known inventions and innovations were produced by entrepreneurs who mostly wanted

“I knew we were going to have a different flavor profile and ingredient listing to make

to solve a problem they were experiencing that then proved they could help other people vexed by the same issues.

it healthier. And I think that’s worked.”

That’s the case for Andrea Pierce-Naymon, the founder of OY-L, a zero-chemical skin care line based in a lab at

drink to put on the market.”

the Akron Global Business Accelerator. After her daughter began experiencing weakness, pain and (continued on page 37)

“We really had West Point Market and Acme - the local grocers in town- supporting (continued on page 36)

“I knew we had to have a great product. This couldn’t be a fly-by-night and a cheap-o

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Creative Comfort Food Crave owner Aaron Hervey doesn’t play when it comes to his food. by Kurt Kleinham

with the kitchen, and was immediately hooked by the skill and art that went into the food he

“I kept hearing, nowhere in America is there a passion for food like there is in New Orleans,”

was delivering.

he said. “I was going to load my truck up and

“I just watched what they were doing, and I thought, ‘Man, that looks awesome,’” said Hervey. “It was a perfect mix of artistry.”

He put in to move to the kitchen, and started out prepping, working his way up through pantry, cold food, and then breakfast, lunch and dinner. He enjoyed working with food so much that he headed to Akron University for a degree in Culinary Arts, graduating in 1993. He knew he still had a lot to learn, so he began working at different kitchens throughout the Akron, Hudson and Cleveland area, taking in everything he could.

Aaron Hervey (pictured right) didn’t grow up wanting to be a chef and restaurant owner. An Akron native growing up in Stow, he didn’t really have a specific direction even picked out when he graduated.

drive down there, and try to work for Emeril or something like that.”

“We put a fine dining twist on a lot of comfort food,” he said. “New American is kind of vague, but in a good way. America is a melting

But he then got engaged to his highschool sweetheart, and picking up and moving both of their lives was less of an option. He doesn’t regret the decision now, he said.

pot, and our food is a melting pot. So we can go Asian a little bit. We can go southern. We’ve got Caribbean influence. That’s what makes it fun in our menu development.”

“I’ve spent my whole life in this area,” said Hervey. “I get to travel enough, and see other

Even after 12 years, choosing a favorite dish from Crave’s menu is like picking a favorite child,

areas. But Northeast Ohio’s a good place to live, other than the weather. It’s home. I don’t ever look back on it now.”

he said. He’s not one to let his ego get ahead of the work: It’s a good chef’s job to cook good food, he said. But he’s always pleased to hear how the restaurant has developed into a fixture

In 2005, he started thinking about opening up his own restaurant. He had a concept in mind, and leased a spot in Akron’s Northside District

of the downtown scene.

for his new project, Crave.

you hear that, you get proud of it. You think, we’re right in downtown. Anyone who knows downtown knows Crave, and knows that on the way to a show or whatever, they can stop

“I was the typical kid who didn’t know for sure what he wanted to

“You’re just sponging up everything you can learn. There’s a million sauces. There’s

“We learned really quickly at Northside that we were onto a good thing. You can come in and

do,” said Hervey. “I was working construction, but I was thinking, ‘I want to be an actor, a photographer.’ But I just didn’t know how to get started in that stuff.”

butchery, there’s pastries. There’s so many different things,” said Hervey. “You learn all you can from somebody, and when you feel like you’ve done that, you move on. You look for the next step and next place to work. It’s really just accruing work experience.”

get a sandwich and an iced tea and get out for $9. But if you wanted to do three courses and a nice bottle of wine, we had people doing that too,” he said.

Then, in 1989, a friend called about a job working room service at the Sheraton Suite in Cuyahoga Falls, and Hervey jumped for the chance to work around hundreds of other employees and meet dozens of new people every day, almost like being in a movie. Working

At one point, he looked at hitting the road to learn even more, initially looking at Los Angeles or New York. Everyone he talked to just pointed him in one direction: New Orleans.

room service, he spent a lot of time interacting

like the cheese and tomato soup, the cornflake chicken sandwich or the mac and cheese.

“I’m not an ego guy,” he said. “But the longer

and have dinner. We’re proud to be part of the community.” // Kurt Kleinham is a freelance writer who is still thinking about the incredible burrito he had last night.

When he found Crave’s current location in downtown Akron, he saw even more diverse crowds coming in, and his menu developed to try to reach as many as he could, from office and construction workers to diners looking for a highend experience. The drive of the New American

// Photos by Svetla Morrison

Crave now has a second location in Cuyahoga Falls: Crave Cantina. For hours, directions and more information, visit and

menu was to put a refined spin on familiar foods,

Come on in, the wifi’s fine!

Join us for free on Thursdays and discover why Akron works from the Tech Lab


| THE Devil Strip / JUNE 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #6


Section Title




Spark your curiosity! Be one of the first to explore our new exhibit and discover 27 of the most unusual animals and plants you’ll ever see. Hurry on over to your Akron Zoo for a unique experience and to visit all 700 of our animals. AKRON MUSIC, ART & CULTURE

JUNE 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #6 /

THE Devil Strip |


The Dish



The Original Krispy Kreme by Katie Jackson With the influx of all the recent (and let’s be clear—DELICIOUS) bakeries popping up around Akron, it’s hard to go wrong when you have a craving for something sweet. But just like everything else, sometimes the novelty peaks and you just want to go home. In this case, home


means the simplest staple: a hot, glazed donut. And there’s nowhere better to satisfy this craving than the Krispy Kreme on South Maple Street.

by Krissy O’Connor

Since 1939, Krispy Kreme has been serving up hot donuts at its location on South Maple Street, earning the title of the oldest continually operating facility in its original location. In fact, the Akron store was literally the second Krispy Kreme location to open in the United States after founder Vernon Rudolph opened the first flagship bakery in Winston-Salem, NC in 1937.


hot light hours are between 5:30 - 10 am and 5 - 9 pm). Town: While it may have undergone facelifts over the years and lost that amazing neon sign, the Akron Krispy Kreme is a true hometown staple that’s here to stay. Krispy Kreme 254 S Maple St


Jeannie Biggins

The old iconic neon “HOT DO-NUTS” sign on South Maple Street, which was replaced in 2013, dated back to the 1950s and was considered coveted roadside architecture by enthusiasts. The newer sign mimics the retro feel and still has an indicator for when the donuts are fresh (pro tip:


Jeremy Heinl Town:


Occupation: General Manager 27 Years at Ken’s

Occupation: Head Chef 11 years at Ken’s

If you won a contest that allowed you to take a vacation or trip to any foodie

What would I find in your fridge at home right now?

inspired or a place where the cuisine is culturally specific, where would it be? Cajun food is a favorite of mine so I would choose New Orleans, LA. I have been to Chicago and San Francisco and love those places too but I have never been to New Orleans.

Lots and lots of Sriracha and Gatorade. (After some heckling from a co-worker he admitted there are some things in there for his kids too).

If I came into your home and looked into your fridge what would I find? Not too much because I work here! But currently probably leftover spaghetti and meatballs, water, some salsa, and some blueberries.

I also love the fast pace of being in the kitchen and serving in a restaurant.

Why did you decide to become a Chef? My Mom always had me helping with the cooking and helping make the food for our family. It became almost second nature to cook.

What inspires you to create specialty dishes? Well, probably my own personal experiences. We have a pretty good variety of specials here.

{The Dish} Dani Shew

Favorite spot to eat: The Lamp Post Go-to-Dish: HeMan Breakfast platter Why do you keep going back? It's open 24/7, the prices are cheap but you're still getting a lot of food, and the service is fantastic.

Hallee Arsena

Favorite spot to eat: Valley Cafe Go-to-Dish: Pancakes are my favorite thing on the menu to order Why do you keep going back? They have an awesome 50s theme with good prices and the portions are huge!


Jodi Nolland

Favorite spot to eat: Tabouleh Lebanese Grill Go-to-Dish: Rice Plate with Chicken or Falafel (always such a hard choice), Baba Ghanoush, Cucumber & Tomato Salad, and Garlic Sauce Why do you keep going back? The friendly staff and fresh ingredients make it hard to stay away.

Marissa Meadows

Favorite spot to eat: Bob’s Hamburg Go-to-Dish:Their double cheeseburger with everything (lettuce, pickles, mustard, Bob's sauce) Why do you keep going back? Their burgers are delicious and it's really cheap. The staff there is also fun to chat with.

| THE Devil Strip / JUNE 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #6

Ken Stewart’s is one of the higher-end restaurants in Akron. What do you do to keep your staff at their four-star selves? Usually with a wine-tasting to start off a service

It is hard to say what my favorite thing to make is because we have so many specials. Personally, I love anything with ahi tuna or scallops but we do have a good steak too.

will help! We do sometimes have to test out the wines that we serve. Service is very important to What do you like to do on your days off? us and we emphasize that our customers have money to spend and we certainly want them to spend it here with us. We honestly have a terrific staff . Most of the employees here have

Spending time with my two kids. My oldest likes the Akron Zoo a lot. It is a great place to go and will hold his attention. Sometimes I will golf. The Firestone course is a favorite.

been here for a long time, sometimes coming in after college while looking for a job and they stay here because it is a great place to work and make great money. It is a crazy business and I love it! What do you do in Akron on your days off? I like to hike and usually will walk with a group of friends in Bath Park or on the Towpath. 1970 W Market St (330) 867-2555



T R?

Happy Hour

3 - 7 pm • Mon. to Sat. $1.75 domestics | $2 wells | $3 select craft pints Sat. & Sun. • $5 Bloody Mary’s

Grab a cold one & enjoy a Ninny’s hot dog while you’re here. ~ 801 W. Market STreet ~




The service was awesome and the staff was very friendly!! I'd recommend this restaurant to all my family and friends....!

54 East Mill St. Akron 44308 (330) 762-8000 Hours: M-Th 11-10, F 11-11, Sat 3-11

the dish

The Wanderer Queso Happens: An Evening at La Loma words and photos by Holly Brown

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: tacos are king. They are tiny tortilla hammocks of meat and spices engulfed by sauces so spicy and flavorful that it’s impossible for any element not to shine.

side-job excuse (again, best gig ever). So, at the

want to bathe in it. The cheese

will of the taco gods, Ryan and I stepped into the humid evening and, windows down, drove down into the valley to

was rich and savory, chorizo runoff never overwhelmed the cheese or made it greasy. Rather, it spiced it up and

the newest installment of added not only texture variety but also another layer of La Loma. buttery flavor. The moment of taco Pictured left: Queso consumption is brief and Not long after we began Happens sweet. However, that just indulging in the queso, endorses ordering many the main event arrived! We were seated at a tacos of many varieties! booth by the bar and immediately ordered a My beautiful, long awaited Maximum flavor sampling is always a positive. half pitcher of margaritas (always on the rocks, tacos were placed in front of me and they always with salt. While you get that classic sour were perfect. Three doubled up stacks of corn While there are not many times when tacos body at La Loma, it’s not sickly sweet. Rather, tortillas displaying tiny piles of decadent meats are not on my mind, it is in the latest days of it’s a great compliment to whatever you happen and garnished simply with chopped onions Spring that they move to the forefront of my to order and gives you just enough of that and cilantro, a couple slices of cucumber and a brain. It is in those first few hot days that my tequila kick. Not to mention it’s super refreshing sliced lime on the side. desire for tacos is insatiable, rivaled only by a when you’ve been sweating in your apartment desire for margaritas. Lucky for me, tacos and all afternoon. I picked up my first taco: pollo. I want to give margaritas are universally acknowledged as a HUGE shout out to the variety of salsas that perfect complements. As I’m sure you’re all aware, queso is not are just sitting on the table! While we got to something I can viably ignore. In fact, it sample a spicy and juicy red salsa with our My top floor apartment gets warm and that is is basically impossible for me to go into a complimentary chips, they also provided two an understatement. There are moments when supplementary bottles of salsa: one salsa verde that heat rises and I can’t bring myself to move, restaurant that serves queso (or beer cheese, and one spicy, brown salsa. Mixing these two let alone cook anything. It was on one of these or pretzel with cheese, or any other variety of melted cheese) without promptly ordering it. salsas with the chicken was the best decision first sweaty days in May that the desire for So, queso happened, as I made. The earthy, tacos and margs eclipsed my planned homesmokiness of the brown cooked meal. Sometimes, there’s nothing better it does. And as chorizo was an option, of salsa mixed with the than an impromptu dinner date and waving course we added that. bright tang of the salsa goodbye to your responsibilities. verde complimented the peppery chicken in a way When our friendly neighborhood editor, Sophie, Pictured right: that I am so thrilled I got suggested La Loma for my next endeavor, I was Tacos Galore! to experience. elated. An excuse! A real-life, full-on, good The queso was white reason to indulge in tacos and margaritas. I and warm and I literally Of course I couldn’t order could even use the I-have-to-do-this-for-my-

tacos without sampling the al pastor (my absolute favorite). This al pastor came with a large chunk of pineapple placed delicately on top of the juicy pork. The amount of pineapple was unlike anything I had seen. This version of al pastor allowed the pineapple Pictured right: Meaty Burrito to be a main element of the dish. The sour, juicy crunch meets delicious fattiness is a flavor I can certainly get used to. My last taco of the evening was the asada and, if possible, it was even juicier than the al pastor! The spices were smoky and salty with just a bit of kick. Mixed with just a tad of that earthy brown salsa, it was the perfect ending to a Mexican feast on a hot May night. La Loma serves up delicious and authentic Mexican street food at super affordable prices AND serves them up crazy fast! Ryan and I ordered and ate within half an hour! And when you’re hungry and craving tacos, that is certainly a huge plus. Special shout out to the burrito, Ryan’s choice of the evening. It was hulking and packed full of beef. Kudos to him for thinking of dipping the burrito in queso.

La Loma > 459 Darrow Rd, Akron Mon-Sun 10am – 9pm > 1682 Merriman Rd, Akron Mon-Thrs 11am-9pm, Fri-Sat 11am -10pm


ood trucks will be rolling into Cascade Plaza for your mid-

Matt Ulichney.

week lunchtime enjoyment every Wednesday from May 24 through September 27 for Cascade Cucina. This on-the-go dining experience is new to downtown Akron.

“I am the most excited for the opportunity to allow all of Akron

The first lineup includes the following food trucks: The Square Scullery, Wholly Frijoles Mexican Street Foods, The Orange Truk, A Twist of Leona, The Stone Pelican, and Cafe Armone.

by Kayla Sturm


Heather Ulichney, co-owner of the Square Scullery food truck, is excited about this opportunity for herself and her husband, Chef

| THE Devil Strip / JUNE 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #6

to envision what a more food-truck-friendly city can look like, and working with one another for the chance to help Akron continue to grow by all hands involved: restaurants, food trucks, local businesses, and Akronites alike all working together for a better tomorrow,” Heather said. Food trucks will be lined up for Cascade Cucina from 11am to 1:30pm. Visit for each week’s truck lineup.


Cascade Cucina Rolls into Downtown


the dish

We all know what we like about bars and what we don't. What makes us gravitate toward or

This will save you a ton of money. You still don't $1200 electric bill for the last five months know how to fix an ice machine though. One running, and you'll want to embrace his

stay away from a particular pub or club? We may like it because of the prices, selection, location, decor, people, food, entertainment

bar owner I know has gone through three of them in five years, and they are expensive as hell. Unless the place is brand spanking new,

etc... It all depends on the bar, its owner and the employees. Of the some 150 bars I have covered thus far in this monthly column, I have seen it all. Some are run like corporations and

you will have to repair all kinds of expensive him will start frequenting your bar. The blood stuff. Coolers, electrical, plumbing...the list goes will be on your hands, but you will have a on and on. In other words, business had better working ice machine. be good.

miserable existence. You won't mind at all that he has destroyed two toilets in this amount of time either. You will just hope that more like

others are run into the ground. Bars that I wish were closer to my house and some that I'm glad You have to play by the rules. Liquor control,

The employees are the worst. Hopefully they show up on time, if at all. Which you’ll love if

I will never have to go back to.

fire marshals and health and building inspectors

you are the type to say, "The longer my hours,

will all come back again and again. So, you have these friendly visitors to look forward to. Want to have live entertainment? Good luck!

the better!" You don't mind them giving out a few drinks here and there or drinking half your inventory, you say? Bingo! Not a problem! The less tolerant bar owners have the pleasure

where your patrons might even hold you on a pedestal. Think again. From one who knows many bar owners, it's not all that it's cracked

Reliable booking agents are at a premium, and bands love to cancel last minute. If you love to hold your breath, blue better be a good color

of firing people and training new employees all the time. It's a big old Catch 22. Have fun trying to find the happy medium here.

up to be. It takes a special kind of patience, tolerance, work ethic and vision to be good at it. If you hold your local bar owner in high regard, it should be because they are are a

on you.

multitasking bad-ass with great resolve.

You'll love it! You'll soon realize that the

If you are thinking about buying one, this is what's in store for you. Everything breaks and needs replaced. Are you a D.I.Y type? Good!

village drunk that is killing his liver at your bar every night is now your best friend. All moral questions have gone right out the door. Once you do the math, that Jethro has paid your

Owning a bar seems like it would be a cool thing to do. Right? Being the life of the party for your job. A glamorous occupation

Are you a people person? Do you like reckless, drunken behavior? Yes? Buy a bar now!

Moral of the story: If you meet a successful bar owner that seems happy doing it, give them a big old high five. They are doing it right.

Cheers and enjoy responsibly, Leslie Nostradamus Nielsen ** Remember to ‘like’ The Bar Crawler on Facebook.

Georgie's Pub

Brubaker's Pub

PK Lounge

The Glenns

Chop and Swizzle

1312 Brittain Rd 330-630-1655

1922 Buchholzer Blvd 330-630-2237

631 N Howard St 330-252-0244

358 E Glenwood Ave 330-376-4811

60 S Maple St 330-283-8041



Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill

North Hill

North Hill

West Hill




It's old. Real old.




11 am - 6 pm

3 - 7pm

5 - 9 pm

Always Happy Hour

5:30 - 7 pm and the last hour and a half of the night. They Close at 1 am.


Craft Beers / Milagro

Bud Lt. / Ciroc

Bud / Crown Royal

Craft Beer / Crafted cocktails


Pool / Darts / Dancing

Pool / Darts


Pool / Darts

Piano Player


Full Menu

Full Menu

No Food

Bar Menu

Full Menu


New Building

Has always been Brubaker’s

Please tell us if you know.

Supposedly an Acme grocery store

Building dates back to 1847. Was Firehouse #3. Has been many things, most recently The Firehouse Pub and The Flame


Bernie Mac meets Kyle Korver

Kelsey Grammer meets Bea Arthur

Lil’ Kim meets Nipsey Russell

Christopher Walken meets Kevin Mack meets Bonnie Tyler Sammy Davis Jr. and drizzled with Raquel Welch

The original Brubaker’s.

Had to go to this place three times to get someone to talk to me. They wanted nothing to do with me here. Wish I had something nice to say.

Might be the most unique bar in Akron. They have some interesting rules to enhance your drinking pleasure. Cool is the number one rule. I suggest you find out the rest of them for yourself.



If you are big on ambiance, you are gonna hate this place.

The people who aren't in A.A. like to go here.

Van's Lounge • In North Hill • 631 N Howard St • 330-253-8988 • Established: 1967 This place is still kind of open, but not really. The powers that be open up for their friends a few days a week. They are trying to sell it. Comes with two apartments upstairs and additional business space on the right hand side of the building. Because it’s on the better side of North Howard St, I believe this place has potential. Presently seems to cater to old men drinking pilsners with short glasses and a salt shaker. My suggestion? Turn it into a 1970s time capsule. Everything from the music to the decor and old shows on T.V. Better yet, anyone have $70,000 they can lend me? Please? Someone? You'll love it when I'm done with it. Trust me!


ap arnie’s public house

Elegantly Casual Dining featuring Modern Twists on Your Favorite Comfort Foods and Classic Cocktails 1682 W. Market St at Westgate Plaza in Akron 330-867-0154 Open 7 days a week 11:00am-2:30am


Akron’s Home of the All Day Breakfast featuring a Bloody Mary Menu, Mimosas and much more... 1688 W. Market St at Westgate Plaza in Akron 330-867-1114 Open 7 days a week 6:30am-3:00pm Sundays 8:00am-3:00pm

The Scene




... Six Akron bands we think you should know by Floco Torres

å Jet Swade Jet Swade is quickly becoming one of Akron’s most talked about Hip-Hop artist on the scene. Jet Swade (which stands for ‘Just Educating Truth, Speaking What Affects Dimensions Everywhere’) matches his mission statement through his lyrics and energy on stage. He played a flawless set at The Vortex back in April opening for the legendary Hip-Hop wordsmith, Masta Ace. His wordplay


is reminiscent of Lupe Fiasco and Tech N9ne and he easily bounces between balanced bravado on songs like “Too Smart” and relatable quips on “Along for the ride.” Jet is producing more and more of his music lately as well as building up his own label Truf Seeker Music that currently houses four other artists. (Photo by L Squared Photography)

ç Tall Tales of Akron Kyndra Heischman, Jason WIllis, Brian Parsons, Brian Raglow and Olivia Cutlip have been playing blues and folk jams as the band “Tall Tales of Akron” for a few years now. Kyndra’s voice is melodious throughout their “Ep.2” project and her harmonies with Olivia on “Ohio Nights” make for a solid tune. “Sarah” was my favorite on the record, a fun upbeat bluesy song about waiting for a loved one to return. If you’re looking for some good folk, definitely check these guys out. (Photo courtesy of Tall Tales of Akron)

é Ahi-nama è Three Legged Chairs Justin, Kyle, Shay and Cameron aspire to be the next teen pop sensation with their alternative/indie band Three Legged Chairs. Contrary to their desired end goal, the band’s EP “The Learning Channel” doesn’t feel plastic and comes off as a genuine effort to just make solid songs. They did just that as this EP was recorded in 18 hours in Columbus, OH. “Somebody’s Lover” made me think of a cool backyard show with those patio lights hanging over the stage, a pool, and about 60 kids dancing and Three Legged Chairs were providing the tunes. Be on the lookout for new music coming soon from these guys. (Photo courtesy of Three Legged Chairs)

I was slightly ashamed to not know what “Timba” was when I came across the band Ahinama. Ahi-nama is an eight piece Latin/Salsa/ Timba (Timba is a Cuban genre of music) band that is sure to get you dancing even if you can’t. This band is just another testament to how incredibly diverse the Akron music scene is. “La Hidrociudad” is a tasty jam with an intoxicating Caribbean groove and Nate goes off on his Saxophone solo. They’ve been gigging on and off over the past few months as a quintet but as the weather gets warmer, I would imagine to see them lighting up dance floors more this summer. (Photo by McKenzie Beynon)

ê Boy Future Guitars Seth Troyer aka Boy Future Guitars is a “Noisy storyteller waiting in the controlosphere.” I have no idea what that means either but it sounds REALLY cool. The folk/pop songwriter has a whimsical approach to his songs and if the controlosphere is a real thing, his song “Fair

ë Often Andrew, Zack and Garrett make up the bouncy punk band Often. These guys seriously don’t have time to mess around with your nonsense. Their EP “Trials I” was released last fall and is all of ten minutes long. True to post punk formula, “Violence and” ends right when you want another chorus to come around. They’ve played a gig or two recently and will probably be more active when their new record comes out later this year. (Photo by Max Boss)


| THE Devil Strip / JUNE 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #6

Folk Garden” must exist there. A few sounds in the song could’ve come from the same universe that the Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band came from. Follow BFG into his universe on his soundcloud page and zone out. (Photo courtesy of Boy Future Guitars)


the scene


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On the Record: by Floco Torres

Posture stands tall on his new EP "Haunts"

There’s something to be said for letting your work speak for itself. There’s a time and place for your braggadocious side to show, but more times than not it isn’t needed. As far as I’ve seen, Posture has every right to demand attention to the work he’s putting out, but he’s remained calm as if he’s leaning back in a chair knowing you’ll catch on soon. On his new EP “Haunts,” Posture stands tall as if he’s finally tired of waiting on you to be ready. The inception in that last statement is that these songs were written between Summer 2011 and Winter 2012 about the uncertainty of adulthood and yet, to me he sounds so sure of everything. On his last EP “Exoskeletons,” Posture spoke as the modest and confused guy that’s “just like you”

being “Home Soon” on the final track. Posture also compliments his lyrics by never over-singing and by mixing in the right amount of reverb at times to get the point across.

The instrumental sections are definitely what kept me engaged throughout. Each song builds up toward the end as if to ensure that if lyrics aren’t your thing, you’re still covered. Sonically, “Haunts” delivers a more polished sound than the previous projects. He’s kept the creation process in-house for the most part tapping Corey Haren for recording and engineering guitar tracks and Nyki Fetterman for additional vocals and design (both contributed to “Exoskeletons”).

at the end of the day. On “Haunts,” his lyrics are much more sagacious and even though this

My only gripe is that the EP isn’t long enough. I would’ve loved five songs with the remaining

record isn’t a continuation of the previous one, there’s something to be said for how much living a man could’ve done in a year to sound so content.

two going between “Halfway” and “Home Soon.” At the same time, the flow between the three songs is just fine, and in our ADDridden society, my suggestion could be just

The 3 song EP starts with “The Worst Thing I Could Say,” where the opening line is “I know

what pushes a new listener away. Maybe the tracklist was an effort to emulate the artwork: a beautiful scene that you stop and stare at in

from the start how this night’s gonna end.” What better way can you say “I’m not here

a moment of gratitude before trudging along. You don’t know it yet, but that moment made

for your shit this time around?” He mocks a companion on “Halfway” when he asks “if this is youth what is old age?” and he brilliantly describes the seasons changing to represent

your whole day better. // Photos by Ashley Kouri. Artwork by Nyki Fetterman

1-8pm: Workshop Tours / Local Food & Drink / Pedal Clinics / Riff-Off Contest / Live Music SPONSORED BY

The Devil Strip ture Akron Music, Art & Cul



the scene


Daniel Socha Unearths

original Songs for New Album, ‘Wild Race’

by Brittany Nader Over the last seven or eight years, Daniel Socha has kept a stash of original songs in his back pocket with no set intentions to flesh them out with musical accompaniment, let alone record them. He’s been busy, after all, earning his master’s degree, teaching communication courses at Kent State University and working with the local refugee community at Akron’s Asian Services In Action, Inc. and, most recently, in Ghana. But with the continued encouragement of his childhood friend, Wes Meadows, as well as a few nudges from his mom, Socha finally recorded and released his seven-song disc, “Wild Race,” this March. The album is an impressive collection, with some of Akron and Kent’s finest musicians breathing new life into Socha’s old songs, as well as collaborating to create new compositions from more recent material. Socha is no stranger to the world of music and songwriting, having sang and played guitar in various choirs, orchestras and jazz bands over the years, and at coffee shop open mic nights,

“I have always loved working with Dan, and he got me my first few shows when I was a

Pictured: Daniel Socha performs at Standing Rock

beginning songwriter, so it really means a lot to me to be able to help him realize his vision for this album,” Meadows says.

vocals and Evan Graening on keys.

Along with Meadows, Socha collaborated with vocalist Bethany Svoboda, who also performs in The Speedbumps, an Akron/Kent-based folkindie outfit revered for their ethereal, dreamlike sound. Socha and Svoboda met at an openmic night, and she became the missing puzzle piece that allowed Socha to hone in his vocal harmonies and create a rich, transfixing sound akin to that of singer-songwriter pros like James Taylor, Ray LaMontagne and Damien Rice. The Socha-Svoboda harmonies mix powerful, passionate wails with an effortless sweetness to a tremendously effective result.

Rounding out the rest of Socha’s collaborators

album opened his eyes to the more communal aspect of the local music scene. With the skills and unique style of his collaborators, he discovered their ability to completely transform musical sketches into something beyond his

is Justin Tibbs, an Akron-based sax player who showcases his talents in Acid Cats, the Jared Lees Trio and many other musical projects, as well as drummer Erik “Breezy” Hartung and fiddle player Cory Grinder, recognized for his

wildest imagination.

work in Johnny and The Apple Stompers and The Cory Grinder Band. Also featured on the

“What I’m learning is many musicians don’t play in a vacuum,” Socha says. “There’s more collaboration, and playing with different people

album is Evan Graening, a Northeast Ohio native who currently resides in New York City, on keys. Socha says Graening came to town

has introduced me to so many new ideas and styles.”

to play a special album release show for “Wild Races,” which took place March 3 at Standing Rock Cultural Arts in Kent.

Among the musicians collaborating with Socha are Meadows, who lends his vocals and trumpet playing to “Wild Race.” Socha says his friend has been familiar with these older songs for years and was the driving force behind the album’s

Cultural Arts in Kent, OH, with Bethany Svoboda on

along with 200 other people, just a few weeks after we met. It's safe to say that everyone, myself included, were blown away by Dan's performance. He has such passion when he performs. Add that with his raw talent, and it's something special to witness.” Graening says Socha reached out to him about contributing to the recording of his new album last fall, and he jumped at the opportunity to be involved. He said it seemed only natural to play keys for the release since he had performed covers to most of Socha’s older songs for several years at places like the (now closed)

Ohio Music Shop in downtown Kent. Since he’s been an NYC resident since 2015, Graening and Socha worked out an arrangement where “Singing on this record with Dan was an the piano parts would be recorded on top honor,” Svoboda says. “He graciously gives musicians the freedom to put their own creative demo tracks then sent over to Meadows. spin on his songs and is always enthusiastic “I ended up hammering out all of the piano about how colorful they become.”

but the venture of recording and releasing a full

“The show itself was a perfect representation of Dan and why he plays music. [We] played through his album, plus a few crowd-pleasing

parts for the album during one four-hour recording marathon in my studio apartment in Manhattan,” Graening says. “I was on Facebook messenger with Wes and Dan and would shoot video clips on my phone to give Dan different options for sounds or organ

| THE Devil Strip / JUNE 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #6

by Floco Torres When you attend a lot of live shows—I usually catch at least 10 a month—it often feels like you know what to expect just by scanning the event info. The saying “there’s nothing new under the sun” holds some weight, but it mainly gives people an excuse to avoid music outside their comfort zone. I knew as I rushed down West Market Street through the rain to Musica that I was lined up to see two bands play rock & roll, and I left it that. I walked into a dead silent room (which is hard to do at any live music event) on the last three songs of the Americana opening band “Matthew Hoover and The Super Saints.” One of those three songs was “Pass You By,” the last track on his “Talking To Ghosts” album, which Matthew gave me personally after his set. The rugged finesse in Matthew’s vocals won us all over, and the general consensus was that his band was a pleasant surprise, seeing as this was an introduction for most of the audience since we were there to see the headliner. Everyone’s attentiveness for Matthew Hoover was a good sign for the rest of the show. Everyone in the room was conveniently posted up everywhere but the dance floor, as that space was occupied by a young lady who danced the entire show. She couldn’t have been any older than eight and I overheard her say that she and her father usually dance together (which they did, ballroom-style, later on). Next to her, I was likely the youngest person there, and I started to wonder how


an obscure band from Queens had generated enough buzz to put 130 people in Musica

As Graening’s piano parts were received, Socha says he enjoyed the experience of watching

on a Friday night. One of The Summit FM staff members introduced Hollis Brown and thanked everyone for coming out for another

Grinder, Hartung and Tibbs record their instrumentals locally with Meadows setting up a mobile rig to record in locations outside of his Berea-based studio.

“member's only” night. (One of the perks of being a Summit FM supporter is free admission

“Watching Tibbs play and record felt like

All the members of Hollis Brown took the stage together and got right to the music. Simply put, Hollis Brown is everything a rock & roll

watching ‘SNL,’” Socha laughs. “We’re having so much fun, and it’s been such a blast.”

covers. He ended the night with Muddy Waters’ The delight of finally getting his songs off the ‘I Got My Mojo Working’ and basically brought paper and onto a recorded album is evident,

release. Meadows also runs Flowerpot Records, a record label based in Berea, and was instrumental the roof off the place,” Graening says. “The in rooting for Socha and getting the tracks on first time I heard [Socha] perform was at the the record compiled, recorded and released. Kent State Resident Assistant Talent Show,


Hollis brown at Musica

though some of the album’s tracks evoke a certain sense of melancholy that may seem (continued on page 37)

to cool shows: My question was answered.)

band should be. They weren’t trying to sell headphones or dance the line between the experimental and electronic genres like most rock bands are seemingly forced to do. The band’s look was consistent—most of the guys (continued on page 37)




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The Scene (continued from page 21)

who lost his finger, showed me how the saw He became a leader in the refugee camp and blade severed his left pinkie at the knuckle helped negotiate resettlement in the United and skidded over his ring and middle fingers. States. Eventually, Khanal was flown to Phoenix, “At the time, I’m new in everything, I’m new where he worked cleaning airplanes, before in America,” he said, explaining that he didn’t moving in 2012 to Ohio, where Case Farms know what to do after the 2014 accident. Rai, hired him as a trainer in Winesburg. There 35, said he received about $4,000 in workers’ weren’t many Bhutanese in the plant at the time, and retention was bad. Khanal told me he was brought in to help the company communicate with the Bhutanese workers and address concerns. “We don’t have enough good supervisors on the production floor,” Khanal said. “They hardly understand what is

compensation for his finger in addition to weekly checks while he was out of work. He returned to the plant but quit in February, tired of the long commute and what he felt was ill treatment. Rai said many Bhutanese are

happy to have the work at Case Farms when the meaning of being human, what is humanity, they first arrive, figuring they’ll work there for a what is respect, what is motivation.” short time while getting settled. “Anywhere we As the labor market and the flow of immigrants

SUPER NO BUENO Abacus: Small Enough to Jail by Ted Zep,


bacus Federal Savings Bank is located in

At one point the contention is made that even

have tightened, Case Farms appears to be making an effort to hold on to the ones it has. The company now gives workers a day off for Diwali. It helps underwrite the Bhutanese association’s office in Akron as well as an annual cultural celebration and soccer tournament. At the national convention of Bhutanese organizations in 2013, two of the three speakers on the entrepreneurship panel were from Case Farms. Conditions are

the Chinatown district of New York City. It was founded in 1984 by Thomas Sung to serve the large immigrant community in the area. In 2009, some discrepancies were found concerning one of the company’s loan officers,

though employees were floating bad loans, a miniscule amount of the transactions defaulted and minimal money was lost---the tried and true “nobody got hurt” defense. While this may be factual, it has no bearing on the legality of

Ken Yu. Yu was asking for/accepting money from unqualified applicants in return for helping them falsify paperwork to create loan eligibility. He was fired after an internal inquiry. A federal investigation ensued when these applicants demanded back the money from the bank that they had paid Yu on the side. It turned out there were others involved. Abacus brass

the actions of those involved. It also doesn’t feel does make him uncomfortable. “Most of the like something a wholly innocent party would employees, they are having some kind of hurt in say either. their hands,” he said. Yet workers have to pay to replace wet gloves, he said, even though the Some of the most interesting scenes in the moisture makes their hands cold, increasing the movie are between Sung and his daughters. pain. Last year, Luitel said, the company started The family is close knit and exhibits sincere giving disciplinary points to workers who called love and affection for one another. While the in sick — even if they had a doctor’s note.

denied culpability. In May of 2012, the bank and 19 employees were indicted on charges of fraud.

women are individually successful professionals in medicine, law and finance, there are moments of sullen dismissiveness of their opinions by their father. Is this the stress of the trial, or his general demeanor?

The documentary follows Sung and his daughters as they fight the case in an attempt

improving, Khanal said, but workers tell him they’re treated differently when he’s not there. A Bhutanese human resources assistant named Upendra Luitel said some things the company

work, we love to do our job, we work hard,” he said. “Everybody worries about the job and the future.” Rai now works at an auto parts warehouse in Akron, which has begun hiring in the Bhutanese community. It’s much different than Case Farms, he said, raising the question — as many worker advocates do — whether the low-wage labor shortage stems from a lack of refugees or simply a lack of respect. “They don’t say, ‘You’re not working this way. You’re not doing good,’” he said. “I get the response, ‘You’re a good worker. You’re a hard worker. You’ve done a lot.’ At Case Farms, I never get like that.” Michael Grabell covers economic issues, labor, immigration and trade. He has reported on the ground from more than 30 states, as well as some of the remotest villages in Alaska and Guatemala. His work has appeared in The New Yorker and The New York Times and on Vice

and NPR. He has won a Gerald Loeb Award for business journalism and an IRE Medal for investigative reporting and is a three-time finalist Case Farms said they instituted the rule because for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists. workers had abused a more lenient policy // Photos by Hector Emanuel, special to ProPublica. regarding absences. Design and production by David Sleight.

Back at the apartment, Gambhir Rai, the man

to clear the organization’s name and prove

At another point Jill Sung, who was the CEO

their lack of accountability in regards to the employees’ practices. Director Steve James (“Hoop Dreams”) hangs

of the bank during the time of the infractions, talks about how her sister, who is seated next to her, makes her feel guilty for letting catastrophe happen during her watch. There

(continued from page 23) And if you think that level of publicity was a boost for the brand-new company…you’d be right. 7th Floor Clothing, though at just

the weight of the film on the notion that Sung and his bank were easy targets for

is flash of enmity between them. Moments like this are when documentary film shines the

about a year old, has some projects coming down the pike to watch for. Along with a new

the government to chase down. Monoliths like JP Morgan or Bank of America would prove difficult-to-impossible to prosecute in a meaningful way, and as such they essentially

brightest. It has the advantage that no other form of filmmaking has: it’s real.

“I saw the same excitement with local Akronites that I had myself for the year prior developing the product.”

Steve James’ “Abacus” is a fascinating film

collaboration with Fast Five actor Luis DaSilva, they’ve also got some things in the works to honor a recently fallen gorilla from Cincinnati, whose name I dare not repeat, but will live in

escaped punishment after the 2008 bank crisis.

that equitably examines the unerringly modern

infamy forever

“When you’re getting into your own business

However, a small community establishment with a large but defined constituency couldn’t put up the fight of one of these larger institutions. Basically, it’s your classic “David v. Goliath” tale.

issues of race, class and family through the lens of the Abacus Federal Savings Bank loan scandal. Both compelling and relevant, it paints a balanced portrait of the struggles of a family attempting to preserve their good name and

Sung is quite literally positioned by James as the “George Bailey” (Jimmy Stewart/”It’s a Wonderful Life”) of the narrative; a well-

way of life.

meaning banker who only has his patrons’ best interests in mind. It’s technically accurate

at the Nightlight Cinema on June 23, 2017.

but feels trite. His stoic, buttoned-up manner doesn’t make for an entirely sympathetic protagonist.

Visit for more details.


(continued from page 24) us from the very beginning. I’ve always been thankful for that support because it gave me the feeling of 'Wow, these guys are behind it too. This could really be something'."

it’s not 8-5, it’s all the time. It’s non-stop.” “It’s a lot of work but when you’re passionate about it and wake up excited to do it, that makes such a big difference.” “A successful Norka comeback story would not be possible without Akron pride.”

“Abacus: Small Enough to Jail” opens in Akron For more information or to purchase some awesome gear from 7th floor clothing, visit

-Ted Zep

| THE Devil Strip / JUNE 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #6


back of book (continued from page 14) and it helped me understand the kinds of plays

(continued from page 34) wore Chuck Taylors and denim. I didn’t get the vibe that there was a superstar amongst session musicians, and they all seemed to like each other. Lead vocal/guitarist Mike Montali has a textbook Nashville sound to his vocals that makes their song “Wait for me Virginia,” a heartfelt tune about being disconnected from family, seem believable. “Let Me Love You” won the ladies over, and their covers of The Beatles’ “Oh Darling” (led by keyboardist Adam Bock) and Neil Young’s “Revolution

produced at none too fragile.

(continued from page 24) where you’re from, but more about where you’re at. You create your own destiny.

simple and true. 9. Never take anything for granted. There is always someone else having a worse day

If you’re looking for a new theater to try out to see something new and thought provoking,

Hard work does pay off. 7. Every moment and day of your life doesn’t need to be planned out. Sometimes you

than you. Be grateful. The grass is usually not greener on the other side. 10. Failure. It’s the best way to learn. If you’re

I’d say none too fragile is your place. Their season is filled with high quality, off-Broadway shows that are unique to the area that will keep you talking long after you’ve left. And although they produce difficult, off-Broadway work, the none too fragile family loves Akron and welcomes you with open arms and a

just need to go with the flow. I thank my wife for this one! 8. In business and in life, follow the golden rule and do unto others as you would wish

afraid of failure, don’t start a business. Every day is a different challenge, it’s how you handle it that will make you successful.

them to do unto you. It’s cliché, but so

shot of Jameson (literally), so you won’t feel like an outsider and you’ll be comfortable to experience what they offer in their (super cool) black box theater.

Blues” (which they killed) were tasteful. Mike continuously thanked us all for taking a chance on music we’ve never heard of, and when the audience didn’t come as close as he would’ve liked, he dropped his guitar and came closer to us. From that “HEY” right before the guitar solo starts to the solos themselves (guitar faces included), Hollis Brown delivered a solid set by doing what a good band does best: keeping the focus on the music.

Next show at none too fragile: Impending Rupture of the Belly by Matt Pelfrey Show run: June 23 - July 8

Pictured above: Mike Montali raises the energy

Check out more at

(Photo courtesy of Floco’s crappy (but better than his last one) phone) (Photo on page 34 courtesy of

// Josy Jones loves theatre and is in love with the

Google images)

diversity of theatre in Akron.

(continued from page 34) surprising when interacting with the warm, often-smiling Socha. He says many of the songs stemmed from personal problems and served as a way for him to work through and express those darker times. One song in particular — his favorite track, no less — called “Other People” was written as a tribute to his dog, Riley, whom he put down this past summer. Socha says his dog was deaf and would often bark incessantly at night, and the song’s lyrics: “You wouldn’t let me back into your house

his material solo in the past, and the album was recorded under his first and last name, he hopes to come up with a proper band name soon so each party involved with the release can be involved on a more permanent, regular basis. The idea for the album title itself came from the artist Cassandra Jerman who designed the cover after the words “wild race” from a track on the album stuck out to her. It’s evident Socha appreciates and values the input from the local artists he’s worked with, and the future is open to greater collaboration with the

with all of your people/And I begged and I howled, and I scratched and I screamed” reflect an intentional dualism between both Socha’s and pet’s misunderstood suffering. But the vivacious drums, Socha’s bright vocals and

creative community.

Tibbs’ smooth sax give the song a feel-good quality that masks the pain and loss that lies

“We are playing a lot of shows with the full

beneath it. “For me, personally, I think Dan's songwriting ability is easy to overlook simply because of his vocal talent,” Graening says. “Songs like ‘Miserable Escape,’ ‘Heartache’ and ‘Waiting’ were written as far back as five years ago, and Dan would continue to tinker with the lyrics, melody

“All the pieces are finally coming together,” Socha says.

band coming up, and hopefully it won't be another eight years before he comes out with another album,” Meadows says. “But I think that with the renewed vigor he shows with this release, he won't be slowing down anytime soon.”

Catch Daniel Socha and his band performing at Uncorked Wine Bar at 22 N. High St. on May 26.

or chords until they were just right. These are my favorite tracks on the album because there's such a history attached to them, and they bring about

The album “Wild Races” is available for purchase at flowerpotrecords.

so many memories for me, personally.” Socha says that while he’s been used to playing


Keep up to date with Socha’s music and upcoming shows at

(continued from page 24) discomfort, Andrea leapt into action, studying and researching the labels of everything that

Get the story in Andrea’s own words by watching our video at To learn more about what OY-L offers, visit them online

went into and on her daughter’s body.


From the shock at what she found on those

This video series, shot and edited by Ilenia

labels, OY-L was born, initially as a product she made in her basement for family and friends. Now, OY-L is being shipped to large buyers in California and sold by upscale retail outlets like Sak’s Fifth Avenue.

Pezzaniti, is part of The Devil Strip’s reporting on small business ownership and entrepreneurship, which has been made possible with support from The Fund for Our Economic Future and the Burton D. Morgan Foundation.

back of book

Urine Luck: Sushi Katsu

a sign, but it’s the only door down the little hallway off the dining area, so you will figure it out. Chances are, the door will be open so the toilet and sink will be a dead giveaway. I am pretty sure there is not a separate men’s room, but since I did not go looking for one I cannot say for certain.

by Emily Dressler I’ve become accustomed to a certain smell in the Valley. You know the smell. Lucky for us, Sushi Katsu does not smell like sewer.

The walls in here: They complete me. Pea green/puke green/ugly green is my favorite. Whenever I read the children’s

It also does not smell overwhelmingly like fish,

Green & Purple with Envy by Emily Dressler and Marissa Marangoni

men? Or for women wearing GoGirls? I really don’t know. I think the mirror could be a little higher, but maybe someone was looking for ways to make a small space look bigger so they

Opposite the sink wall is a nice bamboo curtain. At first I thought it was a tapestry, but it is covering a water heater and other pipe-type

added mirrors in weird places.

stuff. I don’t like pipes and innards so I did not explore this part too thoroughly.

I am never fond of a toilet that flushes and, instead of whooshing around, the whatever just swirls lazily down the toilet. I mean, yes, it’s flushing, but it does not inspire confidence. That’s the situation here, but maybe someone

It’s not often that I go to a place wearing my greenish mustardy pukey colored shirt and have it pair so well with the bathroom walls. For proof, check out our #latergram on Instagram.

not the direction I wanted to take right away. I should change this, but I like to take risks.

book “The Day the Crayons Quit” with my daughter, I shake my head when Pea Green crayon says he’s changing his name to Esteban

was overzealous earlier in the day and the toilet is in recovery mode.

For the beautiful color alone, I give this bathroom a 4 out of 5. Based on toilet-flushing powers alone, this bathroom would not score

because no one likes green peas or even the color pea green. Oh, Esteban.

There’s a mirror next to the sink but not in front of it. The sink placement feels odd. I do wish it were facing the wall with the mirror. However,

as high.

Anyway, Sushi Katsu is not huge, so you should

restroom because you’re not sure which route to take in between tables. Don’t be like me.

This bathroom has a pleasing decor and overall tone. Some LED candles might complete the look. Maybe an LED candle behind one of the face masks hanging on the wall? An interesting

the hand soap smells nice, which is surprising for that industrial foamy crap. I think that every so often, the foamy soap executives ship a batch of the good stuff to keep you hooked

design choice is the circle-shaped Sapporo mirror right above the toilet. I guess this is for

and then go back to the stuff that smells like rubber mouthwash.

// Emily likes rainy days and ice cream. Emily is excited

The door to the unisex restroom does not have

The walls are purple, the trim is purple, even the cups by the sink are purple. Let me pause

for quite a while, so maybe there’s a nice used purple toilet out there just waiting for your office, Dr. Pommier! Reduce, reuse, recycle, that’s what I always say. This royal restroom gets

which is semi-related to sewer smell. This is

be able to easily find the restroom. However, if you’re like me you will almost step on someone’s large purse when walking to the

Linda A. Pommier, D.D.S., Inc. & Associates

office. When I told Emily this, she said, “Gross.” But here’s the thing: it’s not. “Clean” is not generally the word that comes up when you think of the interior of a building bathed in different purple features, but that is exactly the word that comes to mind in Linda A. Pommier, D.D.S., Inc. & Associates office. It’s a tapestry of purple, and it isn’t confined to the waiting room.

by Marissa Marangoni You know what I think is cool? When bold design choices are very clearly made and followed

there: purple cups by the bathroom sink. I can’t decide what I think about this. Cups in a bathroom are not my favorite thing. In a singlestall bathroom, it might be even worse because of the very real risk of toilet flush splashback. I’m torn, though, because I think encouraging people to drink tap water is a good thing. Maybe a water fountain installed in the waiting room could be a good compromise here, but

through everywhere in a building, right down to the cups in the bathroom.

The bathroom here is located through the

And at my dentist’s office, there is very clear evidence that someone loved purple. I love Dr. Pommier, and I’ve never asked her if she loves

door directly across from the entrance to the waiting room. Turn left, and there you have it. It’s a single-staller, and it’s clean. It’s also purple.

because. But that would be wasteful.

purple because if she doesn’t, it will ruin all my assumptions about her personal taste.

“How purple?” you ask. Well, the separators between the ceiling panels are a light shade of

clean. I’m a little disappointed that the throne is not purple, but I guess that’s probably an

purple. THAT is how purple it is.

expensive touch. Then again, those pink toilets were a staple in the standard American home

Purple is everywhere at this little local dentist’s


by Floco Torres

Be Who you are

ver the past six to eight years of my life (or


then we would lose the purple cups, and man, I love those purple cups. I almost took one just

Everything in the purple palace is functional and

Sushi Katsu Monday - Saturday: 5 - 9pm (330) 867-2334

about the sewer construction project.

a 4/5 toilets.

Anyway, if you need a good dentist and you do some nervous peeing when you go to such a place, consider Linda A. Pommier, D.D.S., Inc. & Associates as a strong possibility. Tell her I sent you. I live right around the corner. But you can’t go to the bathroom at my house. And my bathroom isn’t purple. Linda A. Pommier, D.D.S., Inc. & Associates 2869 Copley Rd, Copley, OH 44321 (330) 666-3755 // Marissa’s bathroom would not get a 5/5 toilets. Or a 4/5 toilets. Toilets, toilets, toilets.

small cities is going to the same pub and the bartender

still do, but in Akron you get to be who you are and not

maybe longer) I’ve felt like I was living two different personalities. These personalities are simple: the first one is “Who I am?” and the second one is “Who can I be to make you more comfortable?”

knowing your drink order. Akron seems to be the perfect balance for my two personalities. Although there’s still a slight surprise when people find out I’m a Hip-Hop artist, there are so many creatives here doing outstanding

who you have to be to make a sealed mind comfortable.

Since age 17, I’ve been slowly creating a manual to a lifestyle that didn’t find solace in career paths dictated

things that the conversation doesn’t halt there. I’ve never been surrounded by so many people that share a similar

not easy to leap without a safety net in a society that promotes complacency and closely plays on the fear of

by a failing system. Of course I’m not the only one, but there are more folks with steady jobs than there are folks *seriously* pursuing an unorthodox career. Depression leeched onto my spirit when I realized my friends had

end goal: an insatiable need to do something dope. For so long, I’ve battled against a timeframe for when my dreams HAD to happen, because I didn’t have any

failure. The act of that embrace cultivates more people that introduce themselves as who they are (or plan to be) rather than what they may not want to be doing at the moment. So, Hi everyone, my name is Floco Torres.

no more interest in us relating to each other, and I had gotten bored with the effort and my city’s architecture. I

physical evidence that they would happen after your 20s. Akron is full of late 20s, 30s, 40s and 50 somethings

I’m a Hip-Hop musician and contributor here at

wanted a new start in a place big enough to recognize my ambition but small enough to feel I’m making a hint of a change. Insert Akron, the big-little city.

leading lives that fulfil them AND impact their communities. No one says “Brad Thorla that bartends sometimes at Annabell’s.” They say “You know Brad?

TDS. My new EP comes out in July. It’s nice to meet you.

What I love about big cities is that you can score 60 points and hit the game winning shot, and yet no

He’s a drummer, DJ, he plays bass, etc etc.” No one says “Michael Considine, he used to be at First Energy.” They say “You know Mike Considine? He runs NORKA

// Photo of Floco Torres at

one may notice you on the subway. What I love about

Beverage.” Yes we’ve all had day jobs and maybe we

Chris Horne.

| THE Devil Strip / JUNE 2017 • VOL 3 • ISSUE #6

I think it’s imperative to have a community that embraces its outliers. It’s been said before, but it’s

his first show in Akron by

W K S U P R E S E N T S:

Tuesday, June 13, 2017 at 7:00 pm Cedar Lee Theatre 2163 Lee Road Cleveland Heights, Ohio

Find ticket information at or call the Cedar Lee Theatre at 216.321.5411.

Self-Portrait as Grief After learning about vampires in second grade, I slept with a clove of garlic under my pillow for three days. Lately, nothing gives me so much comfort, so I drive through detour signs with a half-dirty windshield. When a man asks if I’d like to place my hands in wet cement, I think about sinking and remember how my father held an entire city of grief with just his eyelashes. I Google actively dying and think about depression and the 2000 piece puzzle we solved two weeks after grandpa died. A map of the entire world. Lately, I want to own nothing and everything. Some days, I am a giant mouth, and some days I am the way your teeth shattered in the corner of that hospital room. The way your voice shrunk into a whisper.

Noor Hindi is a poet currently pursuing her MFA through the NEOMFA. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Jet Fuel Review, Diode Poetry, Flock Literary Journal, Whiskey Island Magazine, and Foundry Journal. Hindi is also a poetry reader for BOAAT Journal. Aside from this, she organizes literary events in Akron through the organization Poetry in Akron.

(Photo by Shane Wynn)Â

June 2017 issue online  

We go to prom at Akron's North High, visit the guys at 7th Floor Clothing who made LeBron's infamous Kermit hat, get deep with local filmmak...

June 2017 issue online  

We go to prom at Akron's North High, visit the guys at 7th Floor Clothing who made LeBron's infamous Kermit hat, get deep with local filmmak...